In 2015, Chinese Ministry of Commerce carried out the anti-monopoly review according to the law and the legislation, law enforcement, international cooperation and other aspects about concentration of undertakings have achieved positive progress, which effectively maintain the fair competition in the market.
Improve the relevant legislation and promote the systematism of the anti-monopoly review. To improve the efficiency and transparency of law enforcement, the Ministry of Commerce systematically summarized key and difficult issues in anti-monopoly review on concentration of undertakings, to promote the research efforts on the revision of the Anti-monopoly Law. The Ministry of Commerce initiated the revision affairs of the Measures for Declaration of Concentration of Undertakings and Measures for Review of Concentration of Undertakings, and asked for advices widely from the relevant government departments, industry associations, domestic and foreign anti-monopoly law enforcement agencies, experts and counsels. Cooperating with the implementation of the legislation and normative texts, the Ministry of Commerce made and published guiding documents, such as the Guiding Opinions on Regulating the Titles of Cases Involving the Concentration of Undertakings in the Anti-monopoly Declaration, the Model Text of the Supervision Trustee and the Rules on Administrative Punishments for Illegal Declaration of Concentration of Undertakings.
Investigate key cases and safeguard fair market competition. By the end of 2015, the Ministry of Commerce had received 352 declarations for concentration of undertakings, 335 of them had been filed and 319 of them had been concluded. All these three numbers have been the highest in each part since the enforcement of the Anti-monopoly Law. Among concluded cases, there were 317 cases approved unconditionally, while 2 cases approved conditionally. By conditional approval of Nokia’s acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia was asked to follow principles of fairness, reasonableness and non-discrimination with respect to the standard essential patent license and to make promise for injunction, the standard-essential patent transfer and others, which therefore maintains the competition order of wireless communication network equipment market and mobile terminal manufacturing market in China. By conditional approval of NXP’s acquisition of Freescale, NXP was asked to peel off RF power transistors operation, maintaining the competition order of global RF power transistors market. With increasing investigation and handling efforts for illegal cases about concentration of undertakings, 9 cases were punished. Strengthen supervision on conditional cases, and 2 cases were punished for their violations of the restrictive conditions.
Improve review system and safeguard the fair, efficient and transparent enforcement. According to requirements of the State Council for improving the administrative examination and approval, the Ministry of Commerce rationalized mechanism for dealing with cases, adjusted the original mechanisms of negotiations, case-filing and review for handling cases. In accordance with the industries that cases involved, the review office respectively handled the whole process of negotiations, case-filing and review affairs. With the deep implementation of simple declaration, electronic declaration, on-line handling and so on, the annual average case-filing time decreased by 13% when compared with 2014, and simple cases were basically concluded in the preliminary review stage (within 30 days) regardless of the rapidly growing cases. Continue improving the transparency of law enforcement and by using the government affairs disclosure platform, the Ministry of Commerce announced notices about prohibitive cases and the conditionally approved cases and explained the basis of decisions as well as reasons, published the basic information quarterly about the unconditionally approved cases and released the punishment for illegal undeclared cases. Consultation and reporting lines were published to receive business consultations and reports about illegal undeclared cases. The Minister of Commerce paid attention to raising public awareness of the law and held Anti-monopoly Law publicity training courses to improve the anti-monopoly awareness of the commercial departments at all levels and related companies.
Expand foreign exchanges and enhance international cooperation. The Ministry of Commerce continued broadening the cooperation scope and signed Memorandum of Understanding on Antitrust Cooperation with competitors in Canada and South Africa individually. Actively carry out bilateral and multilateral anti-monopoly exchange, the Ministry of Commerce held the tenth EU-China Competition Policy Dialogue and signed the Practice Guidance on Review Cooperation in Concentration of Undertakings; attended the Fourth BRICS Competition and basically reached an agreement on the BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Antitrust Cooperation with competitors in other BRICS countries. The Ministry of Commerce actively promoted negotiations about competition issues on free trade agreements like China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); participated in the Sino-US economic dialogue and negotiation about JCCT’s competition issues, then reached many consensuses with the other party. In concert with the Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and other departments, the Ministry of Commerce jointly held the business dialogue with the United States and the EU, and actively responded to their attention.
Strengthen communication and coordination and take advantages of the Committee Office efficiently. Under the legislative program of the Anti-monopoly Committee under the State Council, the Ministry of Commerce coordinated committee members to promote the drafting of the Guidelines for Excluding and Restricting Competition by Abusing the Intellectual Property Rights, Guidelines for Enforcement of Article 46 and Article 47 of the Anti-monopoly Law, the Guidelines for the Investigating and Handling Monopoly Agreements and Abuse of Market Dominance Power and the Guidelines for Anti-monopoly in Automotive Field. Experts were organized to assess the competitive situation in electricity, internet, steel and automotive industries, and construction of database had been carried out to store market segments from above-mentioned industries. The Ministry of Commerce had finished the formation of the second session of the Expert Advisory Committee and supported the group of experts to held “China Competition Policy Forum.”