Rachel Evans Asia editor
Hong Kong tabled its long-awaited competition bill in July.
In a sop to business, the proposed law does not include a
merger review regime. But by bowing to corporate pressure, the
law could damage deal certainty.
On July 14, Hong Kong's competition bill was introduced in
the Legislative Council. As expected, the bill outlines two
conduct rules to combat restrictive agreements and abuses of
market power, but a merger regime is conspicuously absent.
"Most companies don't want merger rules as they're costly
and delay transactions," says Marc Waha of Norton Rose. "This
is a legitimate concern that's been expressed so vocally that
the government has completely retreated. But as a result we
have a regime that's fraught with legal uncertainty."
Only telecoms mergers will be subject to review, as is
already the case under the Telecommunications Ordinance. Other
M&A agreements must instead comply with the