Competition / Antitrust

Convenor: Thomas Cheng

Competition law is a relatively new area in Hong Kong. For most of the century-and-a-half history of this bastion of free market economics, the city has done without a competition law. After protracted efforts to lobby the government to introduce competition law and strenuous efforts to hold off resistance from the business community, the Competition Ordinance was adopted on June 14, 2012.

The Faculty of Law has been at the forefront in the development of a competition law expertise in Hong Kong. The Faculty began to acquire competence in the area back in 2006, six years before the Ordinance was passed. The Faculty hired its second academic staff member in the area in 2012, and now possesses the broadest competence in the area among the universities in Hong Kong. The Faculty also offers the most number of courses in the area among the universities in Hong Kong. At the moment, it offers one course on U.S. antitrust law, one course on EU competition law, one course on merger review under U.S. and EU law, and one course on the interface between intellectual property and competition law. In addition to the two full-time academic staff, the Faculty regularly invites visitors from abroad to help teach these courses. Visitors have included Professor Mark Furse from the University of Glasgow, Professor Andreas Stephan from the University of East Anglia, Professor Joseph Bauer from the University of Notre Dame, Professor Andreas Kellerhals from the University of Zurich, Professor Rudolph Peritz from New York Law School, and Mr. Ken Logan, a former partner at the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Apart from offering the most comprehensive curriculum on competition law in Hong Kong, the Faculty, through AIIFL, has been active in research in the field. Members of AIIFL have been awarded two Public Policy Research grants and one General Research Fund grant. The two Public Policy Research grants are “Competition and Environmental Sustainability in Hong Kong’s Energy Market” and “Conglomerates and Competition Law Enforcement in Hong Kong”, and the General Research Fund grant is “Competition Law in Developing Countries”. Under the “Competition and Environmental Sustainability in Hong Kong’s Energy Market” grant, the investigators examined how the introduction of competition in the electricity market in Hong Kong will affect its environmental performance and concluded that the impact could be adverse. There is thus a need for the government to adopt legislation to ensure the environmental performance of the electricity companies. Under the “Conglomerates and Competition Law Enforcement in Hong Kong” grant, the investigator looks at how the newly adopted Competition Ordinance should address the competition problems caused by the domination of the local economy by conglomerates. Under the “Competition Law in Developing Countries” grant, the investigator studies whether mainstream competition law principles need adaptations to take into account the specific circumstances of developing countries.