On 27 July 2015 Hong Kong’s Competition Commission issued six final guidelines1 on how the Commission intends to interpret and apply the provisions of the new Competition Ordinance. The operative provisions of the new Ordinance will become effective on 14 December 2015.

Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Chairperson of the Commission hails the release of the guidelines as “a major milestone on the road to the full commencement of the competition law”. That said, the final guidelines are broadly the same as the revised draft guidelines published for consultation in March 2015 – there were no major surprises. The milestone in our view is the introduction of competition law in Hong Kong. Astonishingly, while Hong Kong is considered one of the freest market economies in the world, Hong Kong has hitherto not had competition laws – with exception of the telecommunications industry. Thus the Competition Ordinance heralds major changes.

We previously reported on the Competition Ordinance on 30 July 20152. The Commission is expected to publish its leniency policy and enforcement priorities shortly.