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China Amends M&A Rules

June 22, 2009

On June 22, 2009, the Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") issued an amendment (the "Amendment to the M&A Rules") to the existing Rules on the Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors (the "M&A Rules").  Under the original M&A Rules, many factors such as sales revenue, market share before or after the M&A, or the number of enterprises acquired may have triggered an antitrust filing requirement for an onshore M&A transaction. For offshore M&A transactions, in addition to the above criteria, assets owned or number of enterprises invested in within China may also have subjected the parties to an antitrust filing.  The Amendment to the M&A Rules adopts a new approach by requiring the parties to determine whether an antitrust filing with respect to the subject transaction shall be conducted in view of the Provisions on Filing Threshold of Business Operator Concentration (the "Antitrust Filing Provisions"), under which only meeting the threshold of sales revenue would lead to a filing requirement.  The Amendment to the M&A Rules has brought the M&A Rules, promulgated on September 8, 2006, in line with the current Antitrust Law and the Antitrust Filing Provisions, which helps to unify filing standards for antitrust reviews.


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