In August 2013, the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) issued two new conditional approvals, bringing to 20 the total number of transactions cleared with conditions since China's Anti-Monopoly Law was enacted five years ago. The regulator sought "hold separate" obligations from the parties in relation to MediaTek's acquisition of MStar Semiconductor Inc (MStar), while imposing a structural divestiture remedy in Baxter/Gambro.

Following a precedent set in Glencore/Xstrata, MOFCOM also published, annexed to the two decisions, the full text of the remedial commitments imposed on the parties as a pre-condition to clearance. This demonstrates the regulator's on-going commitment to greater transparency and is to be welcomed on that account. Further, MOFCOM's analysis in the cases shows a growing confidence and sophistication although the decisions lack the level of detail one might be accustomed to in other jurisdictions.

In this update, we explore the issues raised in these two cases and the implications for MOFCOM's future practice.

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