Asia Pacific Competition Law Bulletin February 2016

Welcome to the first edition for 2016 of our bi-monthly Asia Pacific Competition Law Bulletin. As with our other editions, this bulletin has been produced in collaboration with expert local law firms around the region: Allens (Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam), Vinod Dhall in collaboration with TT&A (India), Widyawan & Partners (Indonesia), Mori Hamada & Matsumoto (Japan), Rahmat Lim & Partners (Malaysia), Allen & Gledhill LLP (Singapore), Lee & Ko (South Korea) and Tsar & Tsai Law Firm (Taiwan). We hope you continue to find it a useful source of all the latest competition law developments from around the Asia Pacific region.

In this edition, we continue to cover the major developments in competition law across the region. Notably, the legal reforms in Thailand and Indonesia are progressing and could be finalised this year. In the Philippines, the government has appointed a top economist as the head of its newly-formed competition authority to prepare for implementation of the recently-introduced law. Guidelines on dawn raids and on intellectual property have been published in Japan and amended merger control regulations were unveiled in India. The Hong Kong competition law has also begun having effects on businesses in the city. Criminalisation of competition law has also been a theme over the past two months - in Vietnam, new legislation provides for criminal sanctions for individuals and companies for breaches of competition law; whereas in New Zealand, the government has decided against introducing criminal sanctions for cartel conduct.

In the enforcement sphere, important information exchange cases have been resolved in Australia and South Korea, with potential effects on future interpretation of the law. In China, fines were imposed on pharmaceutical businesses and in the shipping sector, and Singapore engaged in its first-ever consultation on behavioural remedies for an antitrust case. There was a successful appeal against a cartel fine in India and a record US$173m fine was imposed on capacitor manufacturers in Taiwan.

Finally, the Singapore Competition Commission has been active in the area of merger control, clearing the proposed merger of two global suppliers of digital storage devices and consulting on complex remedies in the airfield lighting sector.

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