A Comparison of Chinese, EU, and U.S. Competition Law and Policy

Principal Investigator:  Christopher Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science; Director, Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition

Co-Principal Investigators:  Joseph Harrington, Patrick T. Harker Professor & Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, The Wharton School

Lead School: Penn Law

Penn Partners: The Wharton School

Chinese Partners:  Tsinghua University, University of International Business and Economics (Competition Law Centre)

Other Partners: University Manheim Law School

Project Abstract

China’s Anti-Monopoly Law is relatively new, having only been in force since August 2008. Many areas of the law have yet to be addressed, and enforcement authorities have shown significant interest in learning more about how particular issues have been addressed in other jurisdictions. Furthermore, global companies have long faced the complicated task of navigating the competition law and policy frameworks of both the U.S. and the EU. China’s emergence as a significant source of antitrust enforcement has made the challenges of merger clearance and ensuring that business practices comply with competition law and policy even more difficult.

The project’s aim is to influence not only international legal research but also have a substantive impact on Chinese law and policymaking.

Although plans for the introduction of a comprehensive Chinese administrative procedure law have been unsuccessful since the 1980s, the Chinese government is actively working on reforming different parts of its administrative law since the Fourth Plenary Session.

As the subject of the research is administrative investigation and adjudication (in contrast to administrative rulemaking), reform in this area might be more easily achievable because the Administrative Litigation Law already provides a framework on which to build.

The project will show how providing procedural protections in administrative procedures can serve for the benefit of the government by eliminating false incentives in the decision makers. This ties neatly into the latest anti-corruption drive of the Chinese government.

Additionally, the public choice analysis will require an investigation of the Chinese administrative institutions, on which researchers in other areas of law can build to analyze optimal procedural protections. Moreover, legal research often ends at national borders - our project can serve as an example, of comparative analysis not only being done in parallel, but being truly integrated and cooperative.

By focusing not only on the black-letter regulations but connecting with practitioners in China and the US to gain their insights into the implementation of the law, we are building a network of experts to rely upon in our future projects.