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Volume XI, Number 126

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Competition Currents April 2021 | China & Japan

China

On March 12, 2021, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China’s antitrust regulator, issued fines against 12 tech companies for violating Article 21 of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, which requires business operators to first submit a filing to Chinese antitrust authorities prior to implementing a concentration should either of two monetary thresholds be met.

  • The combined worldwide turnover of all business operators concerned in the preceding financial year is more than RMB10 billion (USD 1.5 billion), and the nationwide turnover within China of each of at least two of the business operators concerned in the preceding financial year is more than RMB400 million (USD 60 million).

  • The combined nationwide turnover within China of all business operators concerned in the preceding financial year is more than RMB2 billion (USD 304 million), and the nationwide turnover within China of each of at least two of the business operators concerned in the preceding financial year is more than RMB400 million.

Each of the 12 companies were fined RMB500,000 (USD 76,000), the maximum penalty currently allowed for unreported business concentrations. While the fines may appear relatively small given the size of the companies being punished, the fines may indicate intensified scrutiny over the nation’s tech giants and a renewed emphasis on pre-concentration filing compliance.

Japan

A. Guidelines formulated for freelance workers.

From February to March 2020, the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat, in cooperation with the relevant ministries and agencies, conducted an integrated survey to ascertain the actual situation of freelance workers (Freelancers) who do not belong to any company or organization.

On March 26, 2021, based on those survey results, the guidelines for Freelancers were formulated to protect Freelancers under the Antimonopoly Acts, Subcontract Acts, and Labor Laws.

The guidelines clarify the following main concepts relating to Freelancers under the Antimonopoly Acts:

1.

 

Restrictions on the abuse of a dominant position in transactions with Freelancers.

2.

 

Delivery of documents clarifying the terms and conditions of transactions at the time of placing an order.

3.

 

The types of acts that may cause problems under the Antimonopoly Acts (abuse of a dominant position) and the Subcontract Acts.

B. Follow-up: Conviction for bid-rigging in the construction of a magnetic levitation train.

On March 1, 2021, the Tokyo District Court convicted two construction companies and two former officials of each company of bid-rigging for the construction of a magnetic levitation train. The two former officials were sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, and the two companies were ordered to pay 250 million yen (USD 2.25 million) each in fines. One of the two companies said it is considering an appeal.

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©2021 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 98
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Andrew G. Berg Chairs the Global Antitrust Litigation & Competition Regulation Practice and advises clients on litigation, mergers and acquisitions, and other antitrust and competition-related matters before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), state attorneys general, and in private litigation. Andrew's practice includes a full range of antitrust transactional and mergers and acquisitions experience, including Hart-Scott-Rodino filings at the FTC and DOJ, and related merger analysis issues. He also counsels...

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Gregory Casas, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Austin, Houston, Energy and Business Litigation Law
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Gregory J. Casas is the Administrative Shareholder for the Austin office and focuses his practice on antitrust, complex business litigation, and energy and natural resources law. Greg's antitrust and complex business litigation practices are international in scope. His antitrust practice includes litigating price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation claims, and providing counseling for DOJ/FTC investigations, joint venture formation, mergers and acquisitions, pricing plans, and other contractual relationships. Greg's complex business litigation experience includes...

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As a U.S. attorney who has worked in China for over decade, Calvin Ding has deep experience in international anti-corruption advisory and investigations, cross-border litigation and e-discovery, as well as compliance with Chinese anti-trust, anti-bribery, and privacy laws.

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Miguel Flores Bernés focuses his practice on antitrust and competition issues affecting clients in various industries, including government merger review, investigations of alleged anticompetitive conduct, litigation and counseling. He regularly represents clients before the two Mexican competition authorities: Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica and Instituto Federal de las Telecomunicaciones, and designed and implemented antitrust/competition compliance programs for clients in Mexico.

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