NDRC Actions Show Broadened Scope of Antitrust Enforcement in China
Q: Does NDRC become more proactive in its antitrust enforcement in 2013?
A: Yes. China promulgated Anti- Monopoly Law(the “AML”) on August 1, 2008. After five years, the National Development and Reform Commission ( the “NDRC”) has become more proactive in its antitrust enforcement, which has been shown by the recent cases in August and September of 2013.
Q: What aspect the NDRC’s focus shifts to in 2013?
A: two of cases happening in 2013, i.e. the Baby Milk formula case and the White Liquor case, have shown that the NDRC has recently shift their focus on resale price maintenance ( the “RPM”) and excessive pricing practice, other than on classic cartel conduct, like they did when the AML took effect in 2008.
Q: In what new sector the NDRC would like to step in 2013?
A: the NDRC begin to handle the case in the sector of products and service that are directly purchased by end users. That means the NDRC is more actively than before to look into the supplier of consumer goods. Also, the NDRC shows more interest in the construction sector.
Q: Does the NDRC only rely on the AML to pursue those companies?
A: No. the NDRC rely on not only AML, but also other laws or regulations to come after those companies. For example in the Hainan and Yunnan tourism case, the NDRC resort to the Price Law to punish the artificial pricing/discounting and the bait-pricing practice. These cases bring it to our attention that when the AML is applicable, then the NDRC will use the AML to come after these companies, and on some cases where the AML keep silent, then the NDRC will resort to other laws to pursue.