Following the Competition Commission’s extensive consultation on its draft substantive and procedural guidelines, the Commission is expected to publish revised guidelines for approval by the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) in the first quarter of 2015. The Competition Ordinance prohibits anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of substantial market power and is expected to come into force shortly after approval of the draft guidelines by LegCo (likely to be in the latter stages of 2015).

The Commission’s draft guidelines, which explain how the Commission will interpret each of the Conduct Rules and how it will handle complaints and applications for exemption, may be viewed here.

The Commission has to date received 64 separate submissions on its draft guidelines. Broadly, parties have welcomed the Commission’s transparent approach to the guidelines, whilst acknowledging that there are a number of areas where additional detail is required (for example in relation to how the Commission is likely to prioritise cases and how its immunity and leniency policy will function). A number of these issues will be picked up in policy statements to be published in the first part of 2015, and others may be incorporated into the revised guidelines. Eversheds is one of only 9 law firms to submit comments on the guidelines. To view our two submissions, please click here and here.