Transplanting Antitrust in China: Economic Transition, Market Structure, and State Control
79 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 10, 2011
This Article examines the compatibility of Western antitrust models as incorporated in China’s first comprehensive antitrust law – the Antimonopoly Law (“AML”) – with China’s local conditions. It identifies three forces that shape competition law and policy in China: China’s current transitional stage, China’s market structures, and pervasive state control in China’s economy. This Article discusses how these forces have limited the applicability of Western antitrust models to China in three major areas of antitrust: cartels, abuse of dominant market position, and merger review. Specifically, it details how these forces have prevented China from pursuing a rigorous anti-cartel policy, how they have led to a mismatch between monopoly abuses that are prohibited under the AML and monopoly abuses that are most prevalent in China’s economy, and how they have prevented the merger review process under the AML from being meaningfully applied to domestic firms. This Article demonstrates that despite having a Western-style antitrust law, China has not developed and likely will not develop a Western-style antitrust jurisprudence in the near future due to these local conditions. Finally, the Article explains how China developed a consensus on the need for a formal antitrust law despite local conditions that were not entirely compatible with such a law.
Keywords: Legal Transplants, Antitrust, Antimonopoly Law, China, SOEs, Cartels, Abuse of Dominant Market Position, Merger Review
JEL Classification: K21, K23, L49, L59, P29, P31, P51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation