Monday 23 March 2009
The Proposed Hong Kong Competition Regime
Speaker: Hans Mahncke, City University Hong Kong
Time: 5.30 -6.30pm
Venue: Keeton Room, UCL Laws
1. No General Competition Law in HK
2. 2007 Cross-sector address
3. Linear approach on the development of CP:
1440 Common Law Roots
1890 Sherman Act (USA)
1948 Restrictive Practice (UK)
1957 Article 81 & 82 (EU)
1947 Japan Competition Regime (forced by the US)
2004 Singapore Competition Regime (forced by the US)
2008 Anti-monopoly Act (China)
-> Three common salience: anti-competition, abuse of dominance, merger control
4. Competition regime does not always have positive criticisms. e.g. Alan Greenspan, Economic nationalism case in the PRC.
5. Business Environment in HK
- supposed: free-port, free competition on service
- but, 'Parallelism of Action' is a big problem. e.g. petroleum, supermarket
- natural monopolies/champions
- NO free-hold land leads to price-setting: government holds lands with only 50 yrs lease.
- therefore, auction on land-lease becomes the essential obstacle to real competition.
- this is a colonial legacy, whilst the government has huge profits from this land auction - Land Premium System.
6. The proposed HK Competition Law
- NO merger control and NO acquisition rules!
- only on 'collusion' and 'dominance'
- rediculous exemptions to (1) Government itself, (2) Chief Executive's special right to 'undo' judgements, (3) Maximum penalty < 1 Million pounds.
- proposed law is NOT viable, on hold now.
- Competition regime CANNOT work in HK, due to land system and lack of accountability, democracy.