HK merger rules must broaden scope

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 24 May 2016

Five months on since Hong Kong enacted its first comprehensive competition law, counsel in the city believe the merger control rule should be applicable to all economic sectors.

The Legislative Council, the city’s parliament, passed the substantive provisions of the Competition Ordinance last December, while voting to extend the merger control rule only to the telecom sector.

Some antitrust lawyers in Hong Kong argue that the city’s lawmakers have been too relaxed on the regulation of mergers in the territory. They tell IFLR that the antitrust regulator has been advocating the government to make the merger control rule applicable to all economic sectors.

"It is unprecedented that a competition law is so clear and has gone so far in exempting all M&A activities from the competition law. I just can’t think of any other jurisdictions that have the same exception," said Marc Waha, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright...