China Mobile settles anti-monopoly suit, but Shanda case thrown out

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    China Mobile agreed in late October to pay RMB1,000 (US$150) to lawyer Zhou Ze in an out-of-court settlement of a private action under the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law (AML).

    Zhou, a lawyer at Beijing Wentian Law Firm, had brought the case against China Mobile and its subsidiary, Beijing Mobile, in the Dongcheng District People’s Court in Beijing in March. Zhou demanded RMB1,200 (US$175) as reimbursement of two years’ handset rental fees of RMB50 a month. He alleged that the fees, which China Mobile charged existing users of its “Go-Tone” package but waived for new customers, amounted to abuse of the carrier’s dominant market position. Abuse of a dominant market position is prohibited under article 17 of the AML.

    In settling out of court, China Mobile avoided accepting any liability in relation to the claim. Xue Junfu of Beijing Jinde Law Firm, which acted for China Mobile, said that the payment was not a reimbursement, but a token of the company’s gratitude to Zhou for his suggestions.

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