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Antitrust in Asia

Antitrust in Asia

Getting ready for dynamic changes in the Asian antitrust landscape

The ongoing economic challenges resulting from the pandemic and geopolitical crisis in recent years have caused policymakers and antitrust regulators to rethink the role of competition policy in promoting economic recovery. Against this backdrop, there has been a dynamic pace of change in the competition law frameworks and enforcement in Asia, increasing uncertainty in deal making and antitrust compliance for businesses in the region.

In this report, we set out what international business should know about the key developments in the Asian competition regimes since our last update in 2021. Key highlights include:

  • China’s landmark enactment of the amended Anti-Monopoly Law in August 2022, bringing sweeping changes in the merger control rules and procedures, and key antitrust provisions;
  • the first competition law in Cambodia, which was signed into law in October 2021, which addresses anticompetitive agreements, abuse of dominance and anticompetitive mergers;
  • the amended Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act in South Korea took effect in December 2021, which included a raft of changes including in respect of the treatment of the exchange of competitively sensitive information and the introduction of a transaction-value based merger threshold; 
  • Malaysia’s proposed amendments to the Competition Act 2010, which will introduce a general economy-wide merger control regime;
  • the newly established Vietnam Competition Commission which is slated to be fully operation during 2023; and
  • a number of notable developments around antitrust enforcement in Hong Kong and Japan.

We also explore a number of topical issues such as the increased antitrust scrutiny over the digital sector and the intersection between sustainability and competition.

To capture this fast-evolving landscape in one of the world’s most economically dynamic regions, we have prepared the following three interactive ‘at-a-glance’ tables covering 20 key Asian jurisdictions:

While comprehensive, the tables do not capture all conceivable nuances in these key Asian competition regimes, and we encourage you to reach out to us for any matter-specific queries you may have.

We will publish updates to these tables and report on further key developments in Asia as and when required. Please also visit our Essential Antitrust Asia podcasts for on-the-ground views of local antitrust experts.

Alongside our own competition law practices in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam, we are grateful to our StrongerTogether partners in Asia whom we work regularly with and have contributed to this publication.