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Business Articles Awards > Asian Antitrust

Chinese companies win: US Antitrust judgment vacated on comity grounds

Anne M. Rodgers, Mark A. Robertson, Competition World, 2017 - First Edition

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In an opinion issued on September 20, 2016, In re: Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, the Second Circuit unanimously held that US courts must respect a foreign government’s—in this case, China’s—interpretation of its laws or regulations where the foreign government directly participates in United States (US) court proceedings and demonstrates a true conflict of laws between the two countries. This long-awaited opinion, vacating a 2013 antitrust price-fixing jury verdict against Chinese vitamin C manufacturers, opens US antitrust and other laws to more comity arguments, particularly from businesses in China. In recognizing the unique nature of China’s economic-regulatory system, the Court’s decision represents a victory for the Chinese defendants and offers a possible defense for businesses that face different and contradictory sets of laws or regulations abroad.

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