The latest Hong Kong developments and their practical implications

Optimise your tendering strategies now as first dawn raids reported in IT bid-rigging cartel investigation (6 October 2016)

It would seem that the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) already has advanced investigations underway barely 10 months into the new competition law regime. Since May 2016 the HKCC has actively stressed bid-rigging as an enforcement priority in a range of compliance activities including its “Fight Bid-rigging Cartels” advocacy campaign, residential building renovation and maintenance market study, recommendations to the Hong Kong Housing Authority on piped LPG supply, and most recently with its comments on the successful prosecution and sentencing in the Garden Vista bid-rigging and bribery case.

Don’t talk future pricing: the real takeaway from HKCC’s first proposed block exemption order (14 September 2016)

The competition authority has reiterated that recommended pricing guidelines and exchanges of future pricing will almost always be considered competitively harmful and a contravention of the law. Consistent with its public statements to trade associations and general business guidance the HKCC is proposing to treat, under certain conditions, liner vessel sharing agreements but not voluntary discussion agreements as ‘excluded agreements’ based on efficiency grounds. The HKCC’s detailed assessment of the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association’s application offers invaluable guidance to any business which may wish to rely on this general “efficiency exclusion” when self-assessing their conduct under the general prohibition on anti-competitive agreements and practices.