Trade Associations and Cartel Conduct under the New Hong Kong Competition Law Regime: An Enforcement Priority for the Competition Commission?

Author: Thomas Cheng

Published in:  Sandra Marco Colino & Burton Ong (Eds.), Cartels in Asia: Law & Practice, p. 295-314. Hong Kong: Wolters Kluwer Hong Kong Limited, 2015.

Introduction: This chapter explores this dilemma regarding enforcement priority facing the Hong Kong Competition Commission. It begins with examining the history of the deliberation and drafting of the Competition Ordinance, with a focus on the opposition of the SMEs to the law and their fear that the law would be used against them. It then reviews the provisions in the Ordinance that are most likely to be applicable to potentially anticompetitive conduct committed by trade associations. It next catalogues the instances of anticompetitive conduct involving trade associations reported in the media over the last decade or so. It concludes by examining the enforcement dilemma facing the Competition Commission between bringing relatively easy-to-win cartel cases against trade associations and more popularly demanded abuse of dominance cases against the conglomerates.