In the previous episode of this series, Mayer Brown JSM discussed the implication of competition law on employment practices. Having had some time to mull over the potential implications of competition law, Colin (a senior HR professional) realises that he does not really understand the issues at all……

Colin: What does competition law mean to HR anyway?

Mayer Brown JSM: The key prohibitions in the Competition Ordinance take the form of two 'Conduct Rules'.

The First Conduct Rule prohibits agreements and concerted practices that have the object or effect of restricting competition in Hong Kong. These would include not only the more serious anti-competitive conduct such as price-fixing, bid-rigging, market sharing, output restrictions and group-boycotts but also other anti-competitive conduct such as exchanging sensitive information, and membership and certification restrictions.

The Second Conduct Rule prohibits a business with substantial market power from abusing that power by engaging in conduct that has the object or effect of restricting competition in Hong Kong.

In relation to HR practices and employment matters, the main concerns will likely be related to the First Conduct Rule.

Colin: This sounds complicated …

Mayer Brown JSM: Don’t worry. We will explain this in further detail tomorrow.