Greater China and Japan competition update for June 2021
On April 26, 2021, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China’s antitrust regulator, announced that it had launched an antitrust investigation into tech giant Meituan, the most China’s leading online food delivery service platform. In a statement announcing the investigation, SAMR said it is focusing on a widespread practice known as “picking one in two (uh xuan yi) ”That a business requires merchants to choose only one platform as their exclusive distribution channel.
Despite the widespread nature of the ‘pick one out of two’ practice, the issue is nuanced because certain types of monopoly practices, such as exclusivity agreements and refusals to deal, may be permitted under the anti-monopoly law of the United States. RPC (AML) for entities with dominant market positions. Article 19 of the AML defines a dominant market position as the ability to control the price or production of products or other commercial conditions in the relevant market or to block or affect the entry of other entities. in the relevant market. In addition, a rebuttable presumption of dominant position is presumed under Article 19 if: (1) one of the entities has a market share of ≥ 50%; (2) two entities have a common market share of ≥ 66%; or (3) three entities have a common market share ≥ 75%, although this excludes entities with less than 10% market share.
A. JFTC to Investigate in Areas of Cloud Services
On April 14, 2021, the Japan Fair Trade Committee (JFTC) revealed its intention to conduct an investigation in the area of cloud services. It was pointed out that an oligopoly of a few digital platform operators could be moving forward. With a view to improving the competitive environment, the JFTC wishes to understand the market situation and actual transactions, as well as to resolve issues related to antimonopoly law and competition policy.
In the first phase of this investigation, interviews and questionnaires will be conducted with both service providers and users, and if any issues can be identified, the JFTC can refine the topics and conduct a more in-depth investigation. This survey will be conducted as the third in a series of efforts to understand the current state of affairs in the digital realm, following on from previous surveys on online shopping malls and app stores, and digital advertising.
B. The Japanese government plans to create a specialized team
The Japanese government plans to create a specialized team within the JFTC by 2022 to study the competitive environment in the digital, health and energy sectors, where market share is increasing. In the event that mergers and acquisitions become more frequent due to the deterioration of business conditions caused by COVID-19, there is a risk that a small number of large companies will come to dominate the market. Therefore, the new specialist team will examine whether any business practices could lead to a particular minority of companies dominating the market.
The JFTC plans to strengthen its staff structure and recruit experts familiar with the areas of activity to be investigated and able to communicate with foreign authorities. Over the next few years, Japan aims to have a team on the same scale as the United States and other countries.
Edoardo Gambardo, Pamela J. Marple, Yuji Ogiwara, Stephen M. Pepper, Gillian Sproul, Filip Drgas, Marta Kownacka, Pietro Missanelli, Massimiliano Pizzonia, Anna Rajcert, Jose Abel Rivera-Pedroza, Ippei Suzuki and Rebecca Tracy Rotem also contributed this update.
© 2021 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 162