MOFCOM publishes criteria for a simplified merger review

By Jingwen Zhu

On 11 February 2014, China’s merger review regulator, Antimonopoly Bureau at the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), published criteria for a simplified merger review, the Interim Rules on Application Criteria of a Simplified Review, which came into effect the next day. The criteria include three market-share-based thresholds and three categories of transactions (i.e. offshore joint ventures, outbound acquisitions and change of control between joint venture partners).

A notifiable concentration is qualified for a simplified review if it meets one of these six criteria: in a concentration between competitors, the combined market share of all participating undertakings is less than 15 per cent; in a concentration between undertakings in related upstream and downstream markets, the market share of the undertakings in both upstream and downstream markets is less than 25 per cent; in a concentration that is neither between competitors nor between undertakings in vertically related markets, the market share of each undertaking is less than 25 per cent in the markets related to the transaction; undertakings set up a joint venture outside China and the joint venture does not engage in commercial activities in China; undertakings acquire shares or assets of an overseas company that does not engage in commercial activities in China; or in a joint venture where two or more undertakings have joint control, one or more undertakings among them acquire sole control after the proposed concentration…

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