Editorial

Author: | Published: 1 Oct 2009
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This time last year, competition matters were causing confusion across the globe. In China, implementing guidelines for the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) were exasperatingly short. Lawyers were guessing as to how the laws would be interpreted.

And in the UK, the government lobbied hard within the EC to allow the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS. In a summer of gloomy financial headlines, this vast diversion away from accepted competition practice was largely ignored. Thankfully, the last year has proved this not to be a trend.

Unfortunately, the situation is not as rectified in China. There is concern that the newly established Anti-Monopoly Commission may create tension between Chinese competition authorities. When the AML was drafted, Mofcom (Ministry of Finance) was placed in charge of merger control.

But Mofcom is now joined by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in being overseen by the Anti-Monopoly Commission. The concern is that the SAIC and the NDRC will try to muscle in on merger control decisions now that they are bed fellows with Mofcom.

Elsewhere in Asia, the South Korean regulator has made noticeable amendments to its Corporate Leniency Programme and to M&A reporting obligations. On page 42, partners from Yoon Yang Kim Shin & Yu analyse this changing approach to competition law.

There have not been as many wholesale changes in Europe, but the European Commission has revised its Remedies Notice. Despite being more of a refinement than a drastic overhaul, Herbert Smith lawyers detail the impact on page 8.

Individual European countries have seen great changes though. Turn to page 14 to see how the French Modernisation of the Economy (LME) has affected deals and page 56 to find out why merger control doesn't just apply to mergers in the UK.

Nicholas Pettifer