MOFCOM Enforces Telecoms Regulations in AML Merger Review (Wal-Mart/Yihaodian)

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The results of MOFCOM's investigation in Wal-Mart’s acquisition of control of Yihaodian is a reminder that non-competition factors play significant roles in AML merger control. MOFCOM’s decision in Wal-Mart/Yihaodian may be a striking "throw back" to the Coca-Cola/Huiyuan and Mitsubishi Rayon/Lucite approaches of 2009. Unlike the more recent detailed decisions in Seagate/Samsung, Western Digital/Hitachi and Google/Motorola Mobility, the Wal-Mart/Yihaodian decision is almost as brief as the earliest decisions. The competition analysis presented in the decision has little to do with the remedy imposed. The conditions imposed effectuate industrial and/or regulatory policy more than they ameliorate any threat to competition. The decision essentially mandates compliance with foreign investment and sectoral regulations.

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