Thursday, September 3, 2009
Abstract: During the first year of existence of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, much has been accomplished but much remains to be developed. In particular, draft regulations in the merger clearance field remain to be finalized, and draft regulations implementing non-merger aspects of the AML have only recently been proposed or have not yet been proposed at all. Moreover, early merger clearance decisions appear to rest on familiar antitrust principles, yet the application of those principles by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) may be out of step with some merger control regimes around the world. For example, MOFCOM relied in part on the theory of 'monopoly leveraging' to block the proposed Coca-Cola/Huiyuan transaction. In contrast, the U.S. Supreme Court has largely repudiated that theory in the Sherman Act context, and it has not been the used to block transactions under the Clayton Act. Nevertheless, in both substance and procedure, the Chinese antitrust regime continues to mature and, in most respects, to converge with the mainstream of worldwide antitrust enforcement programs.