In the 18 months since the writer’s first review of emerging patterns in merger control under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, its Ministry of Commerce has reviewed another 230+ notified transactions and issued 5 decisions. These 5 decisions, plus the unconditional clearance of other transactions, reveal MOFCOM’s rapidly increasing sophistication in analyzing the competition implications of transactions, as well as its continued delicate balancing of competition factors with other considerations. The decisions may also reflect the natural conservatism when acting in what is for China still fairly uncharted territory. They confirm that China is a major competition law hurdle for cross-border transactions, sometimes surpassing the United States and the European Union. This article reviews developments in merger control under the AML since August 2010, and discusses what they reveal and their implications for cross-border transactions.
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