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Welcome to the annual issue of our Asia Pacific Competition Highlights. We have prepared a practical overview of the most notable competition law developments to date that may affect your business operations in the region.

In this issue:


  • Australian authority pushes for record penalties
  • First criminal cartel charges launched against individuals
  • ACCC faces court challenge for opposing telecommunications merger
  • Calls for more ACCC powers and closer scrutiny of digital platforms


  • Four transactions refiled at SAMR request conditionally cleared
  • Interim rules on monopoly and abuse of market power published
  • SAMR strengthens enforcement against gun-jumping
  • Recent SAMR ruling expands abuse of dominance factors

Hong Kong

  • Competition Tribunal establishes key principles in first two landmark cases
  • Individuals in the firing line as Commission ups enforcement ante
  • HKCC provides guidance on information exchange in decision on sales survey


  • Amendments to Antimonopoly Law unlikely this year
  • Enforcement ramps up against late filings
  • Cartel actions continue
  • Investigation opened into ride-sharing industry


  • Japan to introduce new leniency regime
  • Draft amendments to merger review guidelines and policies announced
  • JFTC looks to strengthen antitrust regulations in digital markets


  • Merger control regime formalised for telecommunications sector
  • MyCC’s landmark antitrust decisions upheld by the High Court
  • Antitrust guidance on IP rights issued
  • MyCC proposes USD 21 million fine for abusive practices by ride-sharing operator


  • Myanmar establishes Competition Commission


  • PCC resolves its first case on abuse of dominance
  • Authority can now carry out dawn raids


  • Three hotel operators fined for exchange of sensitive information
  • CCCS accepts additional voluntary commitments from lift spare parts suppliers
  • Merger of clinical laboratory service companies conditionally approved


  • Competition authority reverses infringement decision
  • Government watchdog finds TFTC negligent in handling of Qualcomm settlement
  • Ready-mix concrete suppliers fined USD 1.9 million for price-fixing


  • Independent Trade Competition Commission established in October 2017
  • Antitrust regulations issued in end of 2018
  • Agency guidance documents issued
  • Authority imposes first fines


  • Vietnam strengthens competition law with new amendments
  • Guidance on implementation of new antitrust law yet to be issued
  • New penalty rules for antitrust violations take effect 1 December 2019

Stephen Crosswell is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Competition practice in Hong Kong, where he oversees competition matters in Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and Korea. He is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer for competition/antitrust by Chambers Asia. He wrote the Hong Kong chapters of Sweet & Maxwell's Competition Law in China & Hong Kong and the Oxford University Press Global Antitrust Compliance Handbook. Mr. Crosswell regularly speaks at leading antitrust events in Asia. He is also involved in capacity building with regional regulators and antitrust policy work. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Mr. Crosswell headed a Magic Circle firm's antitrust and competition practice in Hong Kong and coordinated their overall practice in Asia.