A Ten-Year Review of Merger Enforcement in China

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Another five years have passed since we last reviewed the first five years of merger enforcement in China.1 Earlier this year, at the dawn of the tenth anniversary of the enforcement of China’s antimonopoly law (AML), the three Chinese antitrust agencies merged into a new agency—the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR)—and the Anti-Monopoly Bureau (AMB) within the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), which was responsible for merger reviews in China, is now history. While uncertainty remains, the new agency has kept pretty much all of MOFCOM AMB’s original staff, and there has not been any report of significant change with respect to how they handle merger filings. Therefore, it is still worthwhile to summarize the past characteristics of MOFCOM’s merger review, which may provide some insights on the future trends in merger enforcement in China.