Research Handbook on International Competition Law
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Research Handbook on International Competition Law

Edited by Ariel Ezrachi

This comprehensive Handbook explores the dynamics of international cooperation and national enforcement. It identifies initiatives that led to the current state of collaboration and also highlights current and future challenges. The Handbook features 22 contributions on topical subjects including: competition in developed and developing economies, enforcement trends, advocacy and regional and multinational cooperation. In addition, selected areas of law are explored from a comparative perspective. These include intellectual property and competition law, the pharmaceutical industry, merger control worldwide and the application of competition law to agreements and dominant market position.
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Chapter 20: The patent–competition interface in Asia: a regional approach?

Thomas K Cheng


With the adoption of the Anti-Monopoly Law (‘AML’) in China, legislative reform in India, and increased enforcement in Japan and Korea over the last decade, Asia has emerged as an important region in global competition law. In 2008, China’s then-nascent merger control regime flexed its muscles by blocking Coca-Cola’s proposed acquisition of Huiyuan, one of the largest juice manufacturers in China. This was one of the first transactions reviewed by the Chinese authority. Also in 2008, BHP Billiton’s proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto’s shares was scuttled by opposition from China’s Ministry of Commerce (‘MOFCOM’), the country’s merger review authority and the Japan Fair Trade Commission (‘JFTC’). MOFCOM has since required remedies in a string of mergers or joint ventures involving multinational corporations such as the 2008 merger between Sanyo and Panasonic and the 2009 merger between Pfizer and Wyeth. While in other areas of law, such as human rights and corporate governance, an Asian consensus as distinct from the Western approach is often suggested, calls for an Asian approach to competition law are much less often heard. More specifically, it may be asked whether Asia requires its own regional approach to the patent–competition interface. The patent–competition interface is one of the most vexing areas of competition law. It entails difficult trade-offs between short-run consumer welfare and long-run dynamic efficiency and requires an intimate understanding of both competition law and patent law.

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