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State Administration for Market Regulation: Improve the level of normalized supervision to serve the healthy and standardized development of the platform economy

Xu Lefu said that in the field of anti-monopoly supervision over the concentration of operators in the platform economy, the State Administration for Market Regulation has steadily promoted the normalized supervision ideas of ex-ante compliance, in-process review, and ex-post accountability.

The so-called “ex-ante compliance” refers to focusing on compliance advocacy in advance and consolidating the main responsibilities of the enterprise. The State Administration for Market Regulation has paid more attention to improving the compliance awareness of enterprises, formulated and promulgated the “Anti-Monopoly Compliance Guidelines for Concentrations of Operators”, established a normal communication mechanism with platform enterprises, and proactively taken the initiative to serve enterprises’ compliance operations. It is understood that compliance awareness of platform companies, especially large platform companies, has increased significantly in recent years. They have generally established internal antitrust compliance systems and equipped them with corresponding human resources. At present, due to the substantial increase in anti-monopoly compliance awareness, no new problems of illegal implementation of operator concentration by platform companies have been discovered since the implementation of the new Anti-Monopoly Law on August 1, 2022.

The so-called “in-process review” refers to focusing on review services during the process to improve review quality and efficiency. The State Administration for Market Regulation revised and promulgated the “Regulations on the Review of Concentrations of Undertakings”, launched the Anti-Monopoly Review Business System for Concentrations of Undertakings, and clarified the “Double Twenty” internal work requirements for simple cases, that is, in principle, it cannot exceed 20 days from enterprise declaration to formal acceptance. In principle, the time from formal acceptance to review conclusion cannot exceed 20 days. If it exceeds, the system will remind you and the handling personnel will also provide explanations, thereby providing enterprises with clearer and more stable regulatory expectations. The average review time from acceptance to conclusion of concentration of undertaking cases in 2023 is approximately 25.7 days, of which 17.7 days are for simple cases. The efficiency is at the forefront among major antitrust jurisdictions. Since the implementation of the new Anti-Monopoly Law on August 1, 2022, 29 cases of concentration of operators have been unconditionally approved in accordance with the law in the field of platform economy, and there are no cases with conditions or prohibitions.

The so-called “accountability after the event” refers to focusing on law enforcement deterrence and strengthening accountability after the event. At present, the State Administration for Market Regulation is working hard to formulate the benchmark for the discretionary power of administrative penalties for illegal implementation of concentration of undertakings and the “Working Rules for Handling Cases of Concentration of undertakings that do not meet the reporting standards but have or may have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition”, and the new “Anti-Monopoly Law” “After the implementation of “New illegal implementation of concentration of business operators, as well as “pinch-type” mergers and acquisitions that do not meet the reporting standards but have or may have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, strengthen supervision, further strengthen institutional deterrence, and maintain fair competition in the market.

Xu Lefu said that “competition policy is development policy” and the purpose of anti-monopoly supervision is to urge enterprises to become bigger and stronger in accordance with the law, maintain the healthy and sustainable development of the industry, and then provide consumers with more high-quality and low-price products and services. “In the next step, the State Administration for Market Regulation will adhere to the principle of seeking progress while maintaining stability, promoting stability through advancement, establishing first and breaking new ground, insisting on promoting development and regulating regulations, adhering to an inclusive and prudent regulatory attitude, constantly improving the level of normalized supervision, and serving the health of the platform economy. Standardize development.”

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