- Merger control,
- China’s Anti-Monopoly Law,
- Theory of harm,
- Welfare standard,
- Industrial policy
China’s merger policy and enforcement approaches since its Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) took effect in August 2008 are by and large based on the same conceptual framework that is employed in advanced economies. While China has shown a very fast learning capability in conducting competition analysis, further capacity building in China is crucial. There is no clear evidence of industrial policy considerations being at the forefront in the eight published decisions by the Ministry of Commerce to date, except for its very early decisions. We propose a competition-neutral principle, which requires that a competition test be conducted before, and independently from, any consideration of industrial policy and argue that industrial policy matters only for competition-neutral mergers. On a more technical level, if China adopts the total welfare standard, then its treatment of efficiencies and the meaning of sufficiency of entry post merger should be modified accordingly from the US/EU consumer-oriented model.
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