The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance (the Ordinance) - the first sector-wide competition law of Hong Kong - is scheduled to come into full effect on 14 December this year.

The Hong Kong government gazetted the commencement notice this morning, which appoints the commencement date of the Ordinance to be 14 December 2015. The commencement notice will be tabled at the Legislative Council for negative vetting.

In the interim period, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (the Commission) will publish the final version of the guidelines on both the substantive and procedural aspects of the Ordinance. The Commission also announced this morning that the leniency policy and a statement of enforcement priorities will be released before the Ordinance comes into full operation.

The Ordinance, passed in June 2012, prohibits anti-competitive agreements between undertakings, abuse of substantial market power, and anti-competitive mergers involving telecommunications carrier licensees. It applies to any conduct that has the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in Hong Kong, regardless as to whether the undertakings are based, or the conduct was undertaken, within or outside of Hong Kong.