Information on this was posted on the website of the State Council Information Office.
China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) is researching on and formulating rules to strengthen its oversight of killer acquisitions, a senior antitrust official said at a press conference today.
The agency is drafting rules for handling cases of business concentration that do not meet notification thresholds but have or may have the effect of excluding or restricting competition, said Xu Lefu, director-general of SAMR’s No.2 Antitrust Enforcement Department.
SAMR is also expediting the formulation of a discretion benchmark for administrative penalties against the illegal implementation of cases of business concentration, Xu added.
Following the recent revision to notification thresholds, filings involving small and medium-sized mergers and acquisitions are expected to shrink by more than 200 — approximately 30% of the total filings — on average every year, Xu said.
Since the revised Anti-monopoly Law took effect on 1 August 2022, SAMR has unconditionally approved 29 cases of business concentration in the platform economy. No illegal merger cases have been identified in the sector.
SAMR has set a 20-day time limit, in principle, between case filing and case acceptance. Concerned officials are required to provide an explanation if the limit is exceeded.
In 2023, SAMR took an average 25.7 days to conclude a case of business concentration from the filing acceptance stage. The corresponding data for cases placed under its simplified merger review was 17.7.
As at the end of 2023, State Council antitrust agencies concluded the review of 5,789 cases of business concentration, prohibited three, and conditionally approved 61.