EU-China Workshop on State Aid Control

EU-China Competition Week
EU-China Workshop on State Aid Control
17 October 2014, Beijing, China
Minzu Hotel, Donghua Hall on 11th Floor
No.51 Fuxingmennei Dajie, Xichang District, Beijing, China

08:30-09:00

Registration

09:00-09:15

Opening remarks

 

 

Mr XU Kunlin, Director General of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau, National Development and Reform Commission

Ms Blanca RODRIGUEZ-GALINDO, Head of Unit of International Relations (A-5) (former Head of Unit for Regional Aid), Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission
Moderators: Hilary Jennings, Special Advisor on Competition Policy, EUCTP II
09:15-10:30

Session I – Control of State aid in the EU:

 
  1. General principles prohibiting State aid,
  2. Notion of State aid,
  3. Introduction to the criteria for the assessment of State aid,
  4. Procedures for reviewing State aid - notification and standstill obligations,
  5. The role of transparency and the State aid scoreboard
  6. Measures available against illegal State aid – recovery of illegal State aid
Presented by: Mr Torben TOFT, Principal Administrator (International Relations, A-5), Directorate General for Competition, European Commission, Brussels
10:30 -10:45 Tea Break
10:45 -11:45 Session II Practical application of the EU State Aid control rules
 
  1. How does the European Commission administer the general prohibition on granting State aid?
  2. Examples of detailed guidelines applied in the control of State aid
  3. Criteria for the assessment of State aid
  4. Practical experiences in applying the State aid prohibition: regional aid and rescue and restructuring aid
Presented by Ms Blanca RODRIGUEZ-GALINDO, Head of Unit of International Relations (A-5) (former Head of Unit for Regional Aid), Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission
11:45-12:15 Q & A session
12:15-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:45

Session II – Practical application of the EU State Aid control rules (continued)

 
  1. How does the European Commission administer the general prohibition on granting State aid?
  2. Examples of detailed guidelines applied in the control of State aid
  3. Criteria for the assessment of State aid
  4. Practical experiences in applying the State aid prohibition: regional aid and rescue and restructuring aid

Session III – The International Dimension of EU State Aid Control:
International aspects of EU State aid control and its compatibility with WTO rules

Presented by:Hilary Jennings, Special Advisor on Competition Policy, EUCTP II
14:45-15:00 Tea break
15:00-16:30

Session IV – Provisions in the Anti-monopoly Law of PRC on abuse of administrative powers to eliminate or restrict competition and related law enforcement practice

 

Presentation by Ms ZHI Shengmin, Director of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau, National Development and Reform Commission
Comments by

  • Mr WANG Xiaoye, Research fellow of Law Department, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Member of expert consultant group, State Council’s Anti-Monopoly Committee
  • Prof SHI Jianzhong, China University of Political Science and Law; Member of expert consultant group, State Council’s Anti-Monopoly Committee
  • Prof YE Guangliang, Hanqing Advanced Institute of Economics and Finance, Renmin University of China
16:30-17:00

Q & A session and open discussion

17:00-17:10

Closing remarks

 

[Consecutive interpretation both from English-Chinese and Chinese-English provided]

Day 1 - Workshop on Investigative Techniques in Merger Review

Workshop on Investigative Techniques in Merger Review
20 October 2014, Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Sichuan Chengdu Garden Hotel, No 47, Zou Ma Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu
Agenda

08:30-09:00

Registration

09:00-09:15

Welcome and Opening remarks
Mr SHANG Ming, Director General of Anti-Monopoly Bureau, Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China, Beijing
Mr Torben TOFT, Principal Administrator (International Relations, A-5), Directorate General for Competition, European Commission, Brussels

09:15-11:00
(tea break will be decided by moderator depending on the progress of the discussion)

Session I- Planning a merger investigation and communication with participants in the merger review process
Overview:

  • Composition of investigation case team: size; skills; and use of external experts
  • Importance of a merger investigation plan, including: developing theories of harm; identifying sources of evidence; establishing/updating tasks and timeline
  • Dialogue between the authority and (i) notifying parties and (ii) third parties: how and when to communicate at key stages of the investigation (pre-notification, after market tests, prior to statement of objection)
  • Communication with decision makers and interested government agencies
  • Communication and confidentiality practices

[Format: Presentation of 30 minutes by each lead participant followed by discussion and Q&A]
9:15 – 10:45 Presentations by lead participants:

Discussant:

  • Ms Mariana TAVARES, Head of Cabinet of the President, Portuguese Competition Authority

Co-moderators:

  • Mr CAI Junfeng, Deputy Director of Competition Policy Department of Anti-monopoly Bureau, MOFCOM
  • Ms Hilary JENNINGS, Special Adviser on Competition Policy, EUCTP II

10:45 - 11:00 Discussion and Q&A Session

11:00-12:30

Session II- Developing reliable evidence in merger cases
Overview:

  • Identifying the types of information necessary to assess the merger
  • Identifying relevant and reliable sources of evidence, including: documentary materials, descriptive evidence from market participants and expert/quantitative evidence.
  • Value of using/seeking other information from e.g. ministries and other government bodies; technical experts retained by the authority, parties or third parties.
  • The range of tools available to gather evidence from the parties and market participants
  • Effective use of the different investigative tools: how to determine which method to use; relevance of the structure and characteristics of the industry/sector involved in the choice of information gathering tool

[Format: Presentation of 30 minutes by each lead participant followed by discussion and Q&A]
11:00 – 12:00 Presentations by lead participants:

Co-moderators:

  • Mr CAI Junfeng, MOFCOM
  • Ms Hilary JENNINGS, Special Adviser on Competition Policy, EUCTP II

12:00 – 12:30 Discussion and Q&A Session

12:30-14:00

Lunch

14:00-16:15

Session III- Timing in merger investigation

Overview:

  • Timing issues, including: external constraints (statutory periods); internal planning (internal timetables); timing agreements with the parties
  • Criteria for “stopping the clock” in merger review: practice in the EU, UK and the PRC
  • Advantages and disadvantages of rules and practices on timing - practical impact on ability to conduct comprehensive merger reviews and identify effective remedies

[Format: Presentation of 30 minutes by each lead participant followed by discussion and Q&A]
14:00 – 15:00 Presentations by:

Co-moderators:

  • Mr CAI Junfeng, MOFCOM
  • Ms Hilary JENNINGS, Special Adviser on Competition Policy, EUCTP II

15:00- 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 – 16:15 Discussion and Q&A Session

16:15-16:45

Closing Remarks

[Consecutive interpretation both from English-Chinese and Chinese-English provided]

 

Day 2 - Workshop on legal enforcement in insurance sector

Workshop on legal enforcement in insurance sector
21 October 2014, Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Qingcheng Garden Hotel, No 303, Da Shan Road, Qingcheng Mountain town, Dujiangyan
Agenda

08:30-09:00
09:00-09:50

Registration
Opening remarks
Representative from Sichuan Development and Reform Commission
Mr MA Hanxuan, Mayor of Dujiangyan City, Dujiangyan Municipal Government
Mr XU Kunlin, Director-General of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau, National Development and Reform Commission
Mr Torben TOFT, Principal Administrator (International Relations, A-5), Directorate General for Competition, European Commission, Brussels

Moderator: Ms Hilary JENNINGS, Special Adviser on Competition Policy, EUCTP II

Part I: Insurance

09:50-11:00
(tea break will be decided by moderator depending on the progress of the discussion)

Session I – Horizontal co-operation between insurance companies
Overview:

  • Characteristics and evolution of the EU insurance sector
  • Current competition regime in the EU for horizontal co-operation between insurers: Regulation (EU) No 267/2010 and Commission Communication 2010/C 82/02 – the rationale for "block" exempting certain forms of horizontal information exchange contrary to others – which information exchange makes markets work better? When are consumers harmed?
  • Cooperation on general conditions of dealing, including: the setting of insurance premiums and/or the level of commissions paid to intermediaries/agents; potential for information exchange in oligopolistic versus fragmented/non-oligopolistic markets.

09:15 – 10:15 Presentations by:

10:15 – 11:00 Q&A Session

11:10 -12:00

Session II – Vertical co-operation between insurance companies and intermediaries/agents
Overview:

  • Characteristics of the relationship between insurance companies and intermediaries/agents selling their policies
  • Competition problems arising from insurance distribution arrangements, including exclusivity, territorial and customer sales restrictions; the potential for vertical agreements to limit e.g. market access and cross-border supply by companies within the EU

11:00 - 11:40 Presentation by Mr Lukas REPA, DG Competition
11:40 - 12:00 Discussion with Mr Renato FERRANDI, Italian Competition Authority

12:00-12:30 Q & A session

12:30-14:00

Lunch

Part II - Banking

14:00-16:00
(Coffee break will be decided by moderator depending on the progress of the discussion)

Co-operation between banks in the payment card market
Overview:

  • Characteristics of payment card schemes and the operation of multilateral interchange fees
  • Assessment of card scheme rules not regulated by Central Banks – how competition authorities have drawn the line between pro-competitive and anti-competitive measures
  • Examples of the European Commission’s interventions to modify card scheme rules for the benefit of consumers

14:00 – 14:50 Presentation by Mr Lukas REPA, DG Competition
14:50 – 15:10 Presentation by Ms Mariana TAVARES, Head of Cabinet of the President, Portuguese Competition Authority
15:10 – 15:30 Discussion with:

  • Mr Sheldon MILLS, Senior Director, Mergers, Competition and Markets Authority of UK
  • Mr Renato FERRANDI, Italian Competition Authority

15:30 – 16:00 Q&A Session

Part III- International Enforcement Co-operation

16:00-17:15
(Coffee break will be decided by moderator depending on the progress of the discussion)

Overview:

  • Drivers of international co-operation and areas of international co-operation
  • Practical aspects of international enforcement co-operation: sharing information (including confidential information); confidentiality waivers in leniency applications; coordinating investigations (including dawn raids); discussions about case analysis
  • Improving international co-operation in cross-border cases

16:00-17:00 Session I: DG COMP experience with international enforcement co-operation
Presentation by Mr Torben TOFT, Principal Administrator (International Relations, A-5), Directorate General for Competition, European Commission, Brussels
17:00-17:15 Q &A Session

[Consecutive interpretation both from English-Chinese and Chinese-English provided]

 

 

Day 3 - Workshop on case handling procedures and international enforcement co-operation

Workshop on case handling procedures and international enforcement co-operation
22 October 2014, Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Qingcheng Garden Hotel, No 303, Da Shan Road, Qingcheng Mountain town, Dujiangyan

Agenda

08:30-09:00

Registration

Moderator: Ms Hilary JENNINGS, Special Adviser on Competition Policy, EUCTP II

Part III- International Enforcement Co-operation (Continued)

09:00-10:20
(Coffee break will be decided by moderator depending on the progress of the discussion)

09:00-09:40 Session II: Enforcement co-operation within the European Competition Network (ECN)
Presentation by Mr Renato FERRANDI, Italian Competition Authority
09:40-10:10 Session III: Developments in the international enforcement co-operation
Presentation by Ms Hilary JENNINGS, Special Adviser on Competition Policy, EUCTP II
10:10-10:30 Q&A Session

10:20-10:30

Tea break

10:30-12:30

10:30-11:30 Investigation of horizontal monopoly case in insurance industry
Presented by Mr LI Changqing, Director of Price Supervision Bureau, National Development and Reform Commission
11:30-12:00 Comments by Prof. HUANG Yong, Director of Competition Law Centre, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE)
12:00-12:30 Q&A Session

12:30-14:00

Lunch

Part IV- Case-handling Procedures

14:00-15:20
(Coffee break will be decided by moderator depending on the progress of the discussion)

Session I – Best practices in publishing case-handling guidance, and producing internal procedures manuals
Overview:

  • Importance of developing and publishing procedural guidance
  • Contents of external procedural guidance (including information about state of play meetings, access to file, Statement of Objections, preparing the final decision) and dissemination of changes
  • Developing internal procedures manuals: content and format
  • Ensuring adherence to internal procedures manuals and keeping them up to date

14:00 - 14:40 Presentation by Ms Mariana TAVARES, Portuguese Competition Authority
14:40 - 15:20 Discussion with Mr Renato FERRANDI, Italian Competition Authority and Mr Lukas REPA, DG Competition

15:20-15:30

Tea break

15:30-16:20

Session II – The PRC’s anti-monopoly enforcement procedure
Presented by Mr ZHANG Zhengming, Price Supervision Bureau of NDRC
Commented by Prof. SHI Jianzhong, China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) and director in Competition Law Center, CUPL

16:20-16:50

Q&A Session

16:50-17:00

Closing remarks

[Consecutive interpretation both from English-Chinese and Chinese-English provided]

 

Latest Activity

Competition Week 15

The 15th EU-China Competition Week took place in Beijing and Xiamen from 16-20 October 2017.  Discussions were held on topical issues identified with the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Enforcement Agencies (AMEAs). This included the reviewing mergers in the agro-chemicals sector, including a discussion of a recent merger in the industry reviewed by both the EU and China, as well as a discussion of merger review of joint ventures and the prosecution of the procedural infringements. There were discussions on how to use indirect evidence to prosecute cartels, the analysis of vertical restraints and the use of block exemptions and guidelines for vertical agreements. Another session considered the policy and enforcement approaches to the competition issues arising from Big Data and the digital economy. In addition, there was a discussion on developments in the implementation of the Fair Competition Review Mechanism and recent developments in the application of EU State aid control, both of which feed into the dialogue on State aid control under the recent MOU between DG COMP and the NDRC.