Authored by Michael Gu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sihui Sun at AnJie Law Firm
According to a press release2 published by the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) on its website on 10 July, China’s Zhejiang Provincial Price Bureau3 (“Price Bureau”) recently concluded the investigation of a cartel case organized by a local trade association. In this case, 17 paper manufacturers reached and implemented a horizontal monopoly agreement under the organization of the local trade association in Hangzhou – Fuyang Paper Manufacturers Association (“Paper Manufacturers Association”). The 17 paper manufacturers were fined a total amount of RMB 7.78 million, accounting for 1% of their sales value in 2016. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the Paper Manufacturers Association, which played a critical and leading role in organizing and facilitating the aforementioned conspiracy, was forced to de-register by the Price Bureau for its wrongdoings. This is the first time an antitrust authority in China has ever invoked Article 46(3) of the Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) to de-register a trade association.