Abstract: Five Shanghai gold retailers fined for price manipulation because although they were supposed to be competing with each other, the retailers conspired to fix the price, which constitutes as a horizontal monopoly, a clear violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law. The reason behind the five gold retailers’ fines is that their practices of horizontal monopoly caused more severe harm to consumer’s legal interest and social orders than that of previous vertical monopoly on limitation of resale prices made by Mao Tai, Wu Liang Ye, and six milk powder manufacturers. However, what is puzzling about this fine is that the punishments for this horizontal monopoly violation made by the NDRC were inferior to that of vertical monopoly violation.
(By Albert Chen) For the company operation in China, whether its slogan would constitute the unfair competition, it shall first judge whether the parties involved are conducting the same or similar industries. After that, it shall verify whether the defendant has conducted the accused propaganda. The last and also is the most important, it shall confirm whether the prohibitive words or phrases have been adopted in the slogan, or whether its description has appeared to be exaggerated or not the truth, and the fit with the fact shall also be judged.
(By You Yunting) As reported by the media, the e-commerce site 51buy.com has instituted a so-called “higher price compensation” strategy: if clients of 51buy.com, an affiliate of Tencent, find a lower price for an item on 360.com, then 51buy.com will refund the price difference to the client as credits. According to 360buy.com, however, this action violates the Anti-unfair Competition Law and relevant commercial ethics. 360buy.com therefore sent a warning letter to 51buy.com. In reply, 51buy.com used its Weibo to state that the activity is legitimate and will continue.
By Albert Chen
Recently, as researched by Beijing No.2 Intermediate People’s Court (note: the link is in Chinese), the judicial protection of Online Intellectual Property Rights in China has not kept pace with the development of Internet technology and online services in the country. Among these protections, it has been found that the Anti Unfair Competition Law has not sufficiently covered all situations in which unfair competitive behavior is an issue. Specifically, it has been found that provisions of the Anti Unfair Competition Act cover only about fifty percent of cases involving Online Unfair Competition. As for the remaining cases, they can only be governed by the principles outlined in Article 2 of the Anti Unfair Competition Law , providing that “[. . .]an operator shall, in market transactions, abide by principles of voluntariness, equality, fairness, honesty and credibility, and observe generally recognized business ethics.” In today’s post, we would like to share our analysis on the Chinese Anti Unfair Competition Law, and to discuss each situation as can be seen under the current law.
Today we are going to discuss legal problems concerning the 360buy blocking Etao.com, Alibaba’s price comparison website,’ and its plug-ins. And it shall be first pointed out, the author has no relation with either party of the event. The introduction to the event background:
In November of 2011, 360buy took technical measures to block the price search engine of Etao, who afterwards replied it would no longer index the price data of 360buy by Weibo. Yet in the price war between 360buy and Suning, Etao again published the live price comparison between 360buy and other online shopping stores. And in recent, 360buy further blocked the browser plug-in of Etao on 360buy.com, and the plug-in is designed to show the prices on different websites of the same product. Etao stated 360buy is paralyzing its software.