An Overview on the Proposed Amendments to the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law

China

On 23 October 2021, the National People’s Congress (“NPC”) of China has launched a consultation on the proposed amendments to the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law (“Amended AML”). It is expected that the Amended AML will be approved by the Standing Committee of the NPC in the first quarter of 2022.

Please see below an overview of the major amendments to the Amended AML for your reference. It is not clear yet, whether the amendment will be passed as drafted and quite likely that there will be further amendments.

1. Resale Price Maintenance and Minimum Resale Pricing

According to the newly added paragraph in Article 17 of the Amended AML (Article 14 of the AML), if an undertaking can prove that a vertical monopoly agreement containing resale price maintenance and/or minimum resale pricing clauses does not have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, such vertical agreement shall not be prohibited.

We understand that this is different from the “Prohibition + Exemption Principle” towards monopoly agreements stated in the current AML. It remains to be seen whether this newly added paragraph will still be kept in the Amended AML, and if yes, how it can be differentiated from the “exemptions” stated in Article 20 of the Amended AML (Article 15 of the AML).

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