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China Takes Aim At Classic Antitrust Violations

Posted  January 27, 2011

China is beefing up its antitrust laws, and will be taking a closer look at classic antitrust violations such as price fixing and abuse of monopoly power.

According to a government press release, China is taking the action because “various forms of price collusion and the abuse of monopoly position are seriously harming the legal rights and interests of consumers.”

The measures build on an antitrust law that China implemented in 2008, and China reportedly hopes that the new rules will help combat inflation.

The new gloss on antitrust law was released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which is somewhat similar to America’s Federal Trade Commission.  According to the NDRC’s web page, that agency’s mission includes “the regulation of the overall price level and the optimization of major economic structures.”

The new regulations will ban competitors from agreeing to fix prices, and prohibits companies with dominant market shares from selling goods at “unfairly high prices” or buying them at “unfairly low prices.”  These amendments supplement the original 2008 antitrust law, which mainly concerned mergers.

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