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Competition

Hong Kong is a free market economy, in which businesses compete with each other in all aspects. Competition promotes efficiency and innovation. A competitive market provides incentives for businesses to offer products/services of better prices and quality for consumers.

The Competition Ordinance (Cap.619) introduced a cross-sector competition regime to Hong Kong and set out a framework for promoting competition and prohibiting anti-competitive practices. It is illegal to carry out certain business practices which undermine competition.

At ONC Lawyers, our litigation and dispute resolution team works closely with our corporate and commercial team to provide the following services:

  • advising and representing clients in antitrust investigation by the Hong Kong Competition Commission;
  • advising clients in regulatory and litigation matters in relation to the Competition Ordinance;
  • providing trainings to senior executives of companies in relation to issues and compliance of the Competition Ordinance;
  • assisting and representing clients in dawn raids by the Hong Kong Competition Commission; and
  • advising clients in cross-border and domestic transactions in respect of compliance with the Competition Ordinance.

If you would like to know more about our commercial crime practice or how we can help your business, please contact us at (852) 2810 1212 or at criminal@onc.hk.

Please refer to our articles in ‘Knowledge’ - Commercial Crime

Please refer to our articles in ‘Knowledge’ - Competition

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Competition Commission introduced major changes to leniency programme for cartel conduct
In Hong Kong, cartel conduct, generally referring to agreements or concerted practices amongst competitors to fix price, share markets, restrict output or rig bids, contravenes the First Conduct Rule under the Competition Ordinance (Cap 619) (the “Ordinance”), which prohibits arrangements between market participants that prevent, restrict or distort competition. Leniency programmes aim at incentivising cartel participants to report and aid competition authorities to uncover and combat cartel activities. In exchange for cooperation, the Competition Commission (the “Commission”) may make a leniency agreement with the person or undertaking, against whom the Commission will commit not to commence any proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) in relation to the reported conduct. In April 2020, the Commission published a revised Leniency Policy for Undertakings Engaged in Cartel Conduct (the “Leniency Policy for Undertakings”) and a new Leniency Policy for Individuals Involved in Cartel Conduct (the “Leniency Policy for Individuals”), with a view to providing stronger incentive for a cartel member to report cartel conduct.
Can competitors share information and work together during the COVID-19 outbreak?
On 27 March 2020, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (“Commission”) issued a statement regarding the application of the Competition Ordinance (Cap. 619) (“Ordinance”) during the COVID-19 outbreak (“Statement”). Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe, the Statement provides useful guidelines for businesses to assess the risks of enforcement in respect of different kinds of cooperation between businesses necessitated by the epidemic.
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