On 10 Mar. 2023, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued the amended Provisions on the Review of Concentrations of Undertakings (hereinafter the “Provisions”, 经营者集中审查规定).
This amendment comes only one year after China amended the Provisions in March 2022.7 Among others, the following points are noteworthy.
- According to the Provisions amended in 2022, SAMR shall treat all operators equally when conducting anti-monopoly reviews of concentrations of undertakings. However, the Provisions amended in 2023 deleted the phrase of “treat equally” and replaced it with “classified and graded review”. It also provides that SAMR may separately formulate specific review measures for the concentrations of undertakings in important fields related to the national economy and people’s livelihood, etc., which means that new rules allow for the concentrations of undertakings in certain fields.
- In order to reduce the actual or potential effect of a concentration in eliminating or limiting competition, the parties involved in the concentration may submit to the SAMR a proposal for commitments to impose a restriction, including behavioral restrictions such as (i) granting access to a network, a platform, or any other infrastructure; (ii) licensing a key technology (including patents, proprietary technologies, and other intellectual property); (iii) terminating an exclusive or monopolistic agreement; (iv) maintaining independent operations; (v) modifying platform rules or algorithms; and (vi) undertaking to be compatible or not to reduce the level of interoperability.
- The Provisions amended in 2023 added regulation of anti-monopoly enforcement officer, which provided that employees of anti-monopoly law enforcement institutions who abuse their power, neglects their duties, engage in malpractices for personal benefits, or divulge trade secrets, personal privacy, or personal information known during law enforcement will be punished.
Cover Photo by Zetton Zhang on Unsplash
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team