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The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law

The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law

New Developments and Empirical Evidence

New Horizons in Competition Law and Economics series

Edited by Michael Faure and Xinzhu Zhang

This book focuses on experiences with the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) of 2007 in China. It uses carefully-chosen case studies to examine how the competition authorities in China discuss cases and how they use economic reasoning in their decision-making process.

Chapter 10: Market definition under attack: how relevant is the relevant market?

Hila Nevo

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, development studies, law and development, economics and finance, competition policy, law and economics, law - academic, asian law, competition and antitrust law, law and development, law and economics


Market definition is typically a central topic in every antitrust investigation, whether a proposed or consummated merger is challenged, or incases of monopoly and alleged abuse by a dominant firm. Courts regularly utilize the market definition methodology because the delineation of the relevant antitrust market determines the market shares of the participating firms, and the impact of the proposed transaction on competition. For decades now, a cross-jurisdictional consensus has existed, that market definition should be the focal point of any competition-related inquiry. Not withstanding, the ‘more economic approach’ governing contemporary competition law thinking, and the increasing affiliation to quantitative measures in the interpretation of antitrust concepts, threaten to undermine this hegemony. Along these lines, the New Horizontal Merger Guidelines (hereinafter: ‘the New Guidelines’), promulgated by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in August 2010, represent a somewhat less unequivocal stance regarding the market definition process. Whereas the former 1997 Guidelines strictly adhere to a structural framework, of which market definition comprised the first step, the New Guidelines are more sceptical of its role and scope.

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