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China is, for the first time since the Anti-Monopoly Law (the AML) went into effect in 2008, proposing sweeping changes to the law. These include harsher penalties for violations (especially for failure to notify mergers), a mechanism to stop the clock in merger reviews and more clarity on what will be considered anti-competitive, including hub-and-spoke cartels, abuse of dominance in the internet sector and unfair discrimination.

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) launched a public consultation on a draft of the proposed amendments on 2 January 2020 (the Draft Amendments). The Draft Amendments are also subject to consultation and further review by the government and legislative agencies. There is no fixed timetable for their adoption.

This alert provides a snapshot to the most significant proposed changes and their potential impact on business and antitrust enforcement in China.

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