Their Implications for Competition Law
Edited by Michal S. Gal, Mor Bakhoum, Josef Drexl, Eleanor M. Fox and David J. Gerber
Chapter 5: Understanding the economic factors that have affected China’s Antimonopoly Law
China’s Antimonopoly Law (AML) was enacted on 30 August 2007 and came into effect on 1 August 2008. The enactment of the AML, which is widely regarded as China’s ‘economic constitution’, signaled the country’s determination to transform to a market economy and represents a giant step forward in the development of its competition policy. This chapter aims to identify the main economic factors affecting the establishment and enforcement of China’s AML. We first provide an introduction to the evolution of China’s competition laws and regulations in section 5.2. In particular, we focus on the 1980 Competition Regulations, the 1993 Anti-Unfair Competition Law, the 1998 Price Law, and the 2003 Merger Regulations. We then summarize the unique features of China’s AML, including provisions on administrative monopoly, industrial policy content, and the law enforcement structure as set up under the AML in section 5.3. Section 5.4 discusses the roles which certain major economic factors played in shaping the AML, which will be illustrated by several cases that occurred prior to its enactment. In section 5.5, we provide a review of the AML enforcement efforts since it came into effect in 2008 and discuss the extent to which the above economic factors have affected AML enforcement so far. We also discuss the problems stemming from the unique three-pillar enforcement structure of the AML and the main challenges China will have to face in the future as it evolves from a beginner to a more experienced member of the international antitrust community.
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