Australia and China to increase co-operation on mergers regulation

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th June 2014
Australia and China to increase co-operation on mergers regulation

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase co-operation on mergers that affect both the Australian and Chinese markets.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said the agreement paves the way for increased communication and co-operation between the agencies.

“The scope of the agreement allows the agencies to exchange information on the definition of markets and theory of harm as well as impact assessments and the design of merger remedies, subject to confidentiality and privacy requirements in each jurisdiction,” Mr Sims said.

MOFCOM is one of three bodies administering China’s Anti-Monopoly Law. It is the agency responsible for mergers regulation.

Mr Sims said the ACCC welcomes the opportunity to strengthen ties with MOFCOM’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau.

“As part of the agreement, we plan to discuss our competition laws and policies and we look forward to sharing our experiences in law enforcement,” Mr Sims said. “For both countries, the MOU recognises the importance of cooperation in the field of competition regulation,” he said.

Addressing the American Bar Association’s Anti-trust in Asia conference in Beijing on recently, Mr Sims noted the importance of having closer engagement with competition regulators in Asia, particularly in relation to global mergers and cartels.

“The rise of anti-trust in Asia means the merger processes and remedies imposed by our counterparts have an increasing prospect of affecting Australian companies and consumers,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims said the ACCC is working to develop strong and long-term relationships within the Asian region.

“The ACCC has entered, or is at an advanced stage of negotiating, memoranda of understanding with a number of our Asian counterparts to facilitate practical and cooperative relationships.”

The MOU signed by MOFCOM Anti-Monopoly Bureau Director-General Shang and the ACCC Chairman will be available on the ACCC’s website.