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Retrospect on Falaohui Salon: Renowned Automotive Enterprises’ Joint Study on Anti-Monopoly
2024-04-01 11:58:52

In recent years, automotive industry, a crucial industry, maintains being at the core of China’s antitrust enforcement. All of the penalties imposed on Benz, Audi of a few years ago and Ford, Toyota of the last year associated with vertical monopoly issues. The Anti-monopoly Commission of the State of Council recently released Anti-Monopoly Guidance on Automotive Industry (“Automotive Guidance”). Prior to the release of the Automotive Guidance, Anti-Monopoly Law and the Provisional Provisions of Monopoly Agreements lay out relatively general provisions in relation to vertical monopoly, lacking effective instruction and practicality. This results in the absence of clear-cut legal provisions to resort to and uncertainties in compliance for relevant enterprises. The newly released Automotive Guidance provides abundant and detailed rules specific to the peculiarities of automotive industry, in particular the presumed exemption and case-by-case exemption, entailing significant guidance to relevant enterprises in automotive industry and worthy of in-depth study.


As regards the newly released Automotive Guidance, Falaohui held a seminar on Wednesday afternoon, 2 September and invited the managing partner Yong (John) Ren of T&D Associates to provide his insights. More than 30 heads of legal departments from renowned automotive enterprises participated in this seminar in person or online. 


At the lecture, John comprehensively dwelled on the Automotive Guidance officially issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) in August 2020, including the legislation background, main content, differences between the previous Automotive Guidance’s Draft for Comments and other aspects.


Amid the seminar, John and the participants from automotive industry delved into the hot-debated issues relevant to the Automotive Guidance, inter alia, the exemption of monopoly agreements (presumed exemption and case-by-case exemption), re-sale price maintenance (RPM), geographic restriction and customer restriction (hard-core restriction and other restrictions), enforcement cases and enforcement’s vein of logic, answers to common queries related to antitrust law in automotive industry practice, and compliance insights and advices, etc.


The participants from automotive industry actively involved themselves in the lecture and raised many practical problems possibly confronting them, including information transmission between joint ventures and the parent company, different handling methods between authorized and non-authorized dealers, and cross-supply in practice, legal risks of qualification restrictions and other operations as well as response methods, etc. With closely linking with enforcement practice, John answered these queries one-by-one in accordance with the Automotive Guidance.


In the feedback of questionnaires collected by Falaohui, the participants unanimously expressed that the seminar was timely and fantastic and of great help to the automotive enterprises.

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