Competition Commission and Communications Authority Publish Draft Guidelines under the Competition Ordinance

The Competition Commission (the Commission) and the Communications Authority* today (9 October) published drafts of the Guidelines (Draft Guidelines) that are required by the Competition Ordinance (Cap.619) (the Ordinance). The publication of the Draft Guidelines marks a significant milestone in the Commission’s preparatory work towards the full implementation of the Ordinance.

Comments on the Draft Guidelines are now sought from all interested parties.

The Draft Guidelines outline how the Commission expects to interpret and give effect to the three competition rules in the Ordinance (the First and Second Conduct Rules and the Merger Rule), as well as the procedures for handling complaints, conducting investigations and considering applications for exclusions and exemptions.

Where appropriate, the Commission has drawn on best practices from other competition law regimes when developing the Draft Guidelines. They were drafted taking account of the views and feedback the Commission collected from a wide range of businesses and stakeholder groups during an engagement exercise conducted over recent months. The Draft Guidelines include many examples to assist businesses to understand and comply with the Ordinance.

Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Chairperson of the Commission, said, “The release of the Draft Guidelines is a critical step towards the full implementation of the Competition Ordinance which serves to safeguard and enhance a competitive environment for consumers and businesses in Hong Kong. We are grateful to all those who participated in the engagement exercise and attended the Commission’s seminars. The feedback and questions raised, both in meetings and in writing, have greatly assisted the Commission’s development of the Draft Guidelines. We now look forward to receiving comments on these drafts.”

Stanley Wong, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, said, “We recognise the importance of assisting businesses and the public to be ready, willing and able to comply with the Competition Ordinance. In addition to the consultation on the Draft Guidelines which we are launching today, we will prepare and release small business focused brochures and self-assessment tools. Additionally, we will be producing a number of other publications such as a leniency policy and a statement of our enforcement priorities.”

Along with the Draft Guidelines, the Commission also published an Overview summarising the Commission’s approach to preparing the Draft Guidelines and the process for providing comments on the drafts.

The Draft Guidelines are available on the Commission’s website and the Communications Authority’s website Businesses and members of the public are encouraged to submit comments on the drafts in writing by the following dates:

By 10 November 2014: Draft Guideline on Complaints
Draft Guideline on Investigations
Draft Guideline on Applications (Exclusions and Exemptions)
By 10 December 2014: Draft Guideline on the First Conduct Rule
Draft Guideline on the Second Conduct Rule
Draft Guideline on the Merger Rule

Submissions should, preferably, be sent by email to:

Submissions may also be sent by fax or post as follows:

By fax: +852 2522 4997
By Post: Submissions on Draft Guidelines
Competition Commission
36/F, Room 3601
Wu Chung House
197-213 Queen’s Road East
Wanchai, HONG KONG

All submissions received will be posted on the website of the Commission. If a submission contains confidential information, a non-confidential version of the submission should also be submitted.

Once submissions received have been considered, the Commission will refine and produce final draft Guidelines for consultation with the Legislative Council and other persons the Commission considers appropriate pursuant to the Ordinance. Once adopted, the Guidelines will provide clear guidance to businesses about how the Commission will enforce the Ordinance and pave the way for full implementation of the Ordinance at a date to be set by the Government.

To coincide with the release of the Draft Guidelines, the Commission will launch a comprehensive advocacy and promotion campaign. A series of TV / radio Announcement of Public Interests (API) broadcasts and an educational video have been produced to inform the general public and businesses about the Ordinance. The release of these materials will be supported by an extensive media and advertising campaign involving a mix of new and conventional media channels, including newspapers, bus TV, MTR, online and social media platforms. Publications helping small and medium sized enterprises understand their rights and obligations under the Ordinance will follow soon after.

About the Commission

The Commission is an independent statutory body established to enforce the Competition Ordinance (Cap. 619), which was enacted in June 2012. The objective of the Ordinance is to prohibit conduct that prevents, restricts or distorts competition, and mergers that substantially lessen competition in Hong Kong. At the present time, the Merger Rule applies only to a merger involving an undertaking that directly or indirectly holds a carrier licence issued under the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106).

About the Communications Authority

The Communications Authority is an independent statutory body established under the Communications Authority Ordinance (Cap. 616) on 1 April 2012. It is a unified regulatory body overseeing the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors.

*While the Commission is the principal competition authority responsible for enforcing the Ordinance, it has concurrent jurisdiction with the Communications Authority in relation to the conduct of certain undertakings operating in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. Unless stated otherwise, so far as a matter relates to areas falling within this concurrent jurisdiction, references in this press release to the Commission are to be read as applying also to the Communications Authority.

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