At least to me. At least so far.
I spent the early years of my legal career practicing antitrust law and I still enjoying trying to stay current, but this has, if anything, made me quite circumspect regarding China’s new anti-monopoly law. The big question is how this new law will impact foreign businesses that are in or doing business with China and my unequivocal answer is that I am not prepared to say.
I have not had a chance to study the law in its entirety yet, or to discuss it with other lawyers and, more importantly, so much is going to depend on enforcement, that I think at this point it is almost impossible to know what it will mean. It boggles my mind to think that Chinese lawyers and judges with no real antitrust law background will soon be seeking to interpret and enforce antitrust laws. Maybe more than any other legal area, antitrust is complicated and fact specific and rife with policy implications. Because of this, I have a sneaking suspicion that very little will happen under the new laws for quite some time. On top of this, it appears many of the provisions are intentionally vague.
I will eventually comment more fully on this new law (I am writing this post only because I have gotten so many emails asking me when I am going to post on this new law), but in the meantime, I suggest everyone go read the following mighty fine posts and articles on this issue:
1. at the Chinese Law Prof Blog.
2. European Chamber Herald’s Anti-Monopoly Law In China,” at the China CSR blog.
3. Chinese antitrust law said to be imminent,” at the Fortune Legal Pad Blog.
4. Investors fear over China monopolies law,” at the Financial Times.
5. China Passes Law Curbing Some Monopolies,” at the Wall Street Journal.
6. The American Chamber of Commerce’s (Beijing) Press Statement [pdf format], seeming to indicate they too have little idea as to what this law presages.