On July 27 2011 China’s three anti-monopoly agencies – the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce – signed an antitrust and anti-monopoly memorandum of understanding with the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice in Beijing, with the aim of promoting international communication and cooperation between the agencies.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz stated:

"From the first suggestion to this final signed [memorandum of understanding], both countries has been preparing for two years. During the preparation period, we have established a mutual and steady trust relationship, and made the encouraging goal on market competition."Continue Reading China and US Move Closer on Antitrust Collaboration

When a merger, acquisition or joint venture is connected to the Chinese market and is treated as a concentration under China’s Anti-monopoly Law, a company’s first question to its lawyer is likely to be whether the transaction must be filed with the Ministry of Commerce.

The reason for the problem is clear. The law and relevant regulations state that a concentration which meets the filing threshold must be filed. However, the low threshold for filing a concentration in China means that the understaffed ministry has a large number of filings to review. As a result, filing is a time-consuming process. Chinese competition lawyers will also be aware that there are no specific provisions of law that penalise failure to file. Some undertakings weigh the risk of being caught against the potential time saving and choose to not to file, instead discreetly proceeding with the transaction. This practice has become an open secret in China.Continue Reading Can Companies Avoid Filing Concentrations?

Since the Anti-monopoly Law was passed, around 50 private anti-monopoly litigations have been brought and the courts’ jurisdiction over such cases has become a key issue.

Under the internal organisation of the Supreme Court, No 3 Civil Division is in charge of hearing anti-monopoly cases and directing anti-monopoly litigations at local level. This responsibility is no surprise. Previously, No 3 Civil Division focused on IP cases. Ostensibly, competition issues have an indispensable connection with IP rights; thus, on promulgation of the Anti-unfair Competition Law, No 3 Civil Division became responsible for anti-unfair competition cases. No 3 Civil Division has now become the full-time anti-monopoly court within the Supreme Court.Continue Reading Jurisdiction for private anti-monopoly litigation