The January 2014 conditional clearance decision by the Chinese competition authorities regarding the acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (“Thermo Fisher”) of Life Technologies Corporation illustrates some of the key features of the Chinese merger control regime and their implications for global M&A transactions. In particular, the design of any remedy package required to secure competition approval in China may need to take into account Chinese industrial policy considerations, which can lead to more onerous remedies than may be required in, for example, the EU and the US.
In this regard, the Thermo Fisher decision fits very much within the pattern of merger control enforcement which has been developing since China introduced its regime in August 2008. The decision reinforces the need for global, integrated competition advice, particularly where substantive competition issues may impact Chinese consumers.
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