Pursuant to the Anti-Monopoly Law, the Civil Procedure Law and the Arbitration Law, there is no limitation of applying arbitration clause as a settlement to monopoly disputes in China. The Arbitration is well acknowledged for its confidentiality, flexible legal or commercial basis of arbitrating and its finality of one award, which are perfectly adapted to the requirements of confidentiality, efficiency and reliance on customs in business operation. Therefore, the practice of arbitration clause can bring about significant values and meanings to commercial subjects, and furthermore help indicate various risks and opportunities of different timing in relevant market. In this essay, we will introduce relevant cases and investigate whether the judicial opinions on arbitration clauses applied in monopoly disputes are appropriate.
(By You Yunting) China’s two largest Taxi apps Didi Dache (“Didi”) and Kuaidi Dache (“Kuaidi”) confirmed merger on the Western Valentine’s Day, triggering the whole industry, which also lead to the suspicion of a monopoly. Afterwards, the Taxi apps Didi and Kuaidi responded this with much larger travel markets, and told that their merger does not lead to a monopoly, because mobile taxis only count a small proportion with lots of participators. As for whether their merger is accused of monopoly, there are hot discussions among legal professions. At present, third parties were tending to make anti-monopoly investigation from the Ministry of Commerce, and I am no exception. But after full consideration, I fell into confusion.
Our website has analyzed the case filed by Qihoo (NYSE: QIHU) against Tencent (SEHK: 700) stating that Tencent’s abuse of market dominance constituted a monopoly. The first instance of the case was decided by the Guangdong High People’s Court, which denied all of Qihoo’s claims. As recently disclosed by Qihoo, the company has appealed to the Supreme People’s Court, demanding either revocation of the first instance judgment and remand for the retrial, or amendment of the first instance legal judgment based on the facts such that all of Qihoo’s claims are supported.
(You Yunting) According to the report, Mao Tai Company and Wu Liang Ye Company, both are the top distilleries in China, would be ordered the penalty of 1% of their annual sales in 2012, approximately RMB 449 million yuan, by the National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) for their restricting or fixing the retail price of their downstream dealers. You might have noticed “would be”, and we have no idea about whether the final decision has been made, and it could not exclude the possibility that the news report is only the public opinion test by NDRC for its punishment in consideration.
Reportedly(the report is in Chinese), the two Chinese leading video websites, Youku.com Inc. (NYESE: YOUKU) (“Youku”) and Tudou Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: TUDOU) (“Tudou”) jointly announced today that on 11th March, 2012, they have signed a definitive agreement for the combination of Tudou and Youku in a 100% stock for stock transaction, which has been approved by each party’s board of director but still waiting for the shareholders’ approval, and is planned to be completed in the third quarter of 2012.I think, it shall be noted that some anti-monopoly issues may be arisen from the combination of the two Chinese biggest video websites, which possibly resulting adverse impacts on the rights and interests of consumers and fair competition.
As reported, the State Administration of Radio, Film & Television (“SARFT”) has issued the Exposure Draft of “The Guideline on The Further Regulation of The Movie Tickets Management” (the “Exposure Draft”) to its affiliated industry associations, which says that the price of the member ticket, group ticket and the preferential ticket shall not be less than 70% of the listed price in the cinema. The regulation has aroused wide argument for it focusing on the heating ticket group buying business. In our opinion, the Exposure Draft is to establish the price cartel, which is suspected to violate the Price Law, Anti-trust Law and Anti Unfair Competition Law. And the following is the opinions from Bridge IP Law Commentary: (the image above is the logo of NUOMI.COM, the first daily deal website selling movie ticket in China)