29 April 2015
The first quarter of 2015 has again seen records broken in China. On the enforcement side, NDRC concluded its year long investigation into abuse of dominance by Qualcomm by imposing its largest ever fine of RMB 6.088 billion (USD 975 million). Following the appointment in March of a new Director General of NDRC’s antitrust division, 2015 looks to be a decisive year in terms of shaping NDRC’s approach over the coming years.
It has also been a busy start to the year for MOFCOM, having cleared 62 mergers – just one less than the number cleared by the European Commission over the same period. Over 60% of those cases cleared by MOFCOM were notified under the simplified procedure, which – except for a small handful of outliers - continues to see simple cases cleared within the 30 day phase I timetable.
2015 is also shaping up to be a year of reform across the APAC region, with Myanmar’s competition law having been passed into law in February, procedural reforms coming into force in Japan and legislative proposals tabled in South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia, among others. Interestingly, in a number of these jurisdictions, there are proposals to relax the approach to resale price maintenance. Last month also saw the publication of Australia’s Harper Review, although it may be many months, or even years, before we see any major changes to the Australian system in response to the report’s recommendations.
Antitrust in China and across the region Quarterly Update: January to March 2015