A Momentous Date
The Commencement Notice for the Competition Ordinance (Cap. 619) (the "Ordinance") was gazetted today, appointing 14 December 2015 as the date for full enforcement of the Ordinance.
According to a press release issued by the Competition Commission (the "Commission") today, the Commission is "ready to be an effective enforcer of the competition law which will support Hong Kong's open economy by ensuring fair and free markets for all".
What to Expect in the Next Five Months - Implementation Guidelines, Leniency Policy and Enforcement Priorities
The Commission has completed its drafting and consultation of the implementation guidelines, which will be published shortly.
Also in the pipeline are a leniency policy for cartel conduct and a statement of the Commission's enforcement priorities.
The Commission's statement of enforcement priorities is an important document which will, short of identifying specific sectors or businesses, give businesses an idea of where the Commission intends to focus its enforcement activity and what considerations may drive the Commission's decision to commence an investigation or market study.
Ready, Steady, Go!
Businesses should ensure their staff understand the competition rules introduced by the Ordinance, how the rules affect commercial strategy and daily operations, and start to take steps to reach a compliant position before the critical date of 14 December 2015.
In the coming weeks we will publish further updates on developments relating to the Ordinance.
In the meantime, you may learn more about the competition rules from our Hong Kong Competition Law Series, a series of bite-size articles introducing the types of conduct to which the Ordinance will apply.