Friday, March 23, 2007

Hong Kong to Introduce Competition Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Yesterday, the Global Competition Review reported (password required) that Hong Kong likely will introduce a competition law.   The Report on public consultation on the way forward for Hong Kong's competition policy (available here) lays out a blueprint for the law including its rationale, functions and answers to key questions.

I think that the possible introduction of a competition law in Hong Kong and the recent adoption of a competition law in Singapore tells us something very important about the role of competition policy in the global economy.  These two jurisdictions often top various lists of the most market oriented economies in the world.  These jurisdictions also tend to be among the most trade open economies.  Yet, even in both of these jurisdictions, there is a sense that there is a need to create an agency to combat monopoly power and coordinated anti-competitive practices because the market cannot self correct easily against such practices.  The Singaporean competition law contains exemptions for state owned enterprises from the law.  My hope is that Hong Kong does not follow this approach.  Public restraints of competition may in fact be worse than private restraints because once such legislation/regulation is introduced, it becomes far more difficult to eliminate such anti-competitive conduct due to public choice problems.

My own thoughts on international antitrust can be found here.

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Hi Daniel

It's great to see such distinguished interest in what's happening here in Hong Kong in terms of changes to our competition policy.

Those of your readers without a subscription to Global Competition Policy Review might like to visit my site which is dedicated to this topic.

Here's the address (which was noted in the GCR article following my interview with the author):

If you check out the post on 23 March 07, you'll get a pretty good summary of where things are presently at.

On Monday (26 March) I'll be attending the Legislative Council meeting at which the Hong Kong Government will outline its blueprint for introducing general competition laws, which may be in place by 1 January 2009.

I'll try to give an update on that in Tuesday's post.



Posted by: Peter Macmillan | Mar 24, 2007 12:31:40 AM

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