China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published the Anti-Price Monopoly Rules (Consultation Draft) on 12 August 2009. The consultation period ended on 6 September, but the draft rules offer a clear insight into the NDRC’s likely approach to price fixing. China Business Law Journal invited a lawyer and six in-house counsel in Beijing to discuss the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law, the Anti-Price Monopoly Rules and the implications of both for PRC business. In the spirit of the public consultation, and with the aim of contributing to the development of the law, the discussion among professionals was full and frank

The panel

Cheng Yuan is head of the China competition/antitrust practice at international law firm Linklaters

Ma Jun is vice-president, legal, at Volvo Group China

Grant Tao is lead commercial counsel at Motorola

Zhang Xingxiang is legal policy counsel at GE

Ding Jin is head of legal, China, at British American Tobacco

Koh Kok Shen is regional compliance counsel

Luke Kwok is legal counsel at Nokia Siemens Networks

Cheng Yuan, Linklaters: I think there’s a general difference between the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law [AML] and the other laws and regulations dealing with market supervision and price control. Both the PRC Price Law and the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law also contain some offences relating to what has been regulated under the AML. Selling below cost is also prohibited under both the Price Law and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, and price fixing is also prohibited under the Price Law. But what makes them quite different is that those laws are drafted in such a way that everything described as prohibited is illegal. The AML, on the other hand, is a completely different regime which has never been thought about before under the traditional socialist economy. It is a market economy regulation.

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