BHP-Rio could provoke China regulatory tussle

Author: | Published: 19 Jun 2009

The competition review of the proposed joint venture (JV) between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto could spark an internal tussle between Chinese regulators keen to assert their jurisdiction over the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML).

As reported yesterday, a senior Chinese official called the tie-up “monopolistic” and many expect the government to employ the country’s Anti-Monopoly Law to thwart the deal.

But due to the complex nature of the law, and the competition between Chinese regulators in implementing it, some believe that the tie-up could create a struggle between the authorities, further complicating the deal.

“Both the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) will want to be seen to have had a say in this case,” said Kirstie Nicholson, of counsel at Lovells...