Consumer sovereignty in the framework of social justice, economic equality and environmental balance, within and across borders


  • China M&A rulings create hot competition for antitrust lawyers

    July 3, 2014

    China‘s increasing regulatory influence over international mergers and acquisitions has helped to create the hottest new commodity in its legal industry: anti-trust lawyers.

    Six years ago, China did not even have a legal system for regulating the impact of M&A on competition. Today, its Ministry of Commerce is the biggest wildcard for dealmakers trying to get a major cross-border deal past anti-trust regulators.

    The ministry’s decision last month to reject Danish shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk’s planned alliance with Swiss and French rivals came as a “big surprise” to Maersk Chief Executive Nils Smedegaard Anderson, whose team had been in close contact with the regulator until days earlier.
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  • China’s shock P3 veto sparks calls to set up an international competition authority

    July 2, 2014

    China’s recent blocking of Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM forming the P3 Alliance could have global competition law ramifications.

    According to Anthony Woolich, partner at law firm Holman Fenwick Willan and an expert on international competition law, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) took a divergent view of the P3 from that taken by western competition authorities, which had given the network the green light.

    Mr Woolich told The Loadstar, on the sidelines of last week’s TOC Container Supply Chain event in London: “MofCom seems to have departed from the approach of the EC and [US] FMC and treated it as a merger, and concluded that the market share was too high.
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  • Ukraine: Competition In Ukraine: Fair Business In Ukraine From A Competition Perspective?

    July 1, 2014

    While in many jurisdictions fair competition is safeguarded by consumer protection agencies, in Ukraine significant powers are allocated to the competition authority – the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the “AMC”). Investigations of any dishonest or fraudulent practices that may unfairly distort competition constitute about 16% of all cases handled by the AMC. In 2013, 1,259 violations of unfair competition laws were investigated by the AMC.

    The Law of Ukraine “On Protection Against Unfair Competition” (the “Competition Law”), adopted in 1996, distinguishes among the following main types of violations: (i) actions that are contrary to honest practices and involve illegal use of intellectual property or business reputation of another undertaking, e.g., parasitic copying; (ii) restrictive and discriminatory practices, e.g., dissemination of false or misleading information; and (iii) unlawful collection, disclosure, and use of trade secrets.
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  • Hong Kong’s competition regulator faces challenges in supermarket sector

    June 30, 2014

    Hopes are high for HK’s competition law but its enforcers will have much to do when probing a murky world of supermarket pricing

    Ahead of next year’s long-awaited competition law, food industry insiders describe a sector where prices are controlled and shenanigans commonplace as suppliers and supermarkets jostle for margin and market share in the fight over who fills your shopping basket.

    The dominance of two companies in the supermarket industry – Dairy Farm International Holdings and AS Watson Group – has long concerned consumer rights advocates. Last year, the industry was the subject of a Consumer Council investigation.
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  • Sasol faces battle over appeal bid

    June 29, 2014

    COMPETITION commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele is adamant that excessive pricing by Sasol will be dealt with either through competition law or government policy. And Sasol’s attempts to quash a hefty fine will be fought.

    Bonakele was commenting on Friday after it emerged that Sasol planned to appeal against the Competition Tribunal’s ruling that it may no longer charge the equivalent of import-parity prices for propylene and polypropylene, ingredients of plastic. It also fined Sasol R543-million. Sasol is relying in its defence on a previous case against Mittal.

    “These are different times,” said Bonakele. “I can promise you this matter is not going to disappear. Sasol is out of touch if it believes it can win the matter on the basis of technical legal arguments. This issue has to be resolved either through competition law or through government policy.”
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  • Lao-Viet Trade Fair will promote products to regional markets

    July 27 2014

    Laos and Vietnam are preparing to open an annual trade fair in Vientiane next week to boost economic cooperation and expand markets for products from both countries in the region.

    The Lao-Viet Trade Fair 2014 also aims to showcase production and supply capacity of businesses from the two countries in preparation for expected stronger competition when the region becomes the Asean Economic Community next year.

    The exhibition will be officially opened on July 3 at the Lao-ITECC on Khampheangmeuang Road in Phonthan village, Sisattanak district and will close on July 7.

    More than 300 exhibitors overall are expected to bring their products to this event, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce told Vientiane Times on Wednesday.
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  • VitaminsOnline.com Files False Advertising Action Over Competitor’s Online Dietary Supplement Offerings and Claims

    June 26, 2014

    On May 6, 2014 VitaminsOnline, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“VOI”), filed a complaint against Dynamic Industries, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, and Christopher Wilson, a resident of Georgia (collectively “Dynamic”), alleging false advertising and unfair competition under Section 43 of the Lanham Act, deceptive trade practices under Georgia law, and common law false advertising in regards to the sale of online dietary supplements.

    VOI markets and sells vitamins and dietary supplements over the Internet, including on Amazon.com. One of VOI’s products is “Nutrigold® Garcinia Cambogia Gold” (“Garcinia Gold”), which contains 60% Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and has been shown to suppress appetite and support weight loss. Another product VOI sells is “Nutrigold® Svetol® Green Coffee Gold” (“Green Coffee Gold”), which contains 100% Svetol® green coffee extract and no generic green coffee extracts.
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  • Poverty reduction efforts leave poor behind: Oxfam

    June 21, 2014

    HA NOI — A survey released yesterday showed that many among Viet Nam’s poor do not benefit from the national poverty reduction Programme 30A, which has been implemented since 2008.

    The survey by Oxfam Viet Nam randomly polled 1,440 households in three among Viet Nam’s poorest districts of Si Ma Cai (northern Lao Cai Province), Tuong Duong (Nghe An Province) and Ba To (central Quang Ngai Province) during the period of 2012 and 2013.

    According to the survey, only 17 households said they had received some kind of payment as incentive to protect forests and generate livelihood from forest.
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