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What can we learn from the first two competition cases in Hong Kong?

9 Sept 2019

In an illuminating seminar on recent competition enforcement actions in Hong Kong, DVC’s Richard Leung JP, Connie Lee and Tommy Cheung presented a dynamic discussion centering on two milestone competition cases before 60 members of the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries ( HKICS) on 5th September. Delivering strategic insights on the current state of play and the challenges that can sometimes be encountered in this context,  the presentation was geared towards shedding light on this topic and leaving the audience with actionable takeaways.

Richard, Connie and Tommy provided an overview of two key competition enforcement actions which included (i) Competition Commission v. Nutanix & Ors [2019] HKCT 2 & (ii) Competition Commission v. W. Hing Construction Co. Ltd & Ors [2019] 3 HKLRD 46. Teasing out relevant keystones to show how competition law in Hong Kong is still continually evolving, the speakers set the tone for a resonant conversation with the attendees.

Tommy initially took the audience through the fundamental concepts of competition law, Richard Leung JP sketched in typical anti-competitive conduct – clearly delineating how victims could seek redress, and Connie concluded with an overview of i) the significance of the rulings regarding attribution of liability to the employer and ii) the subcontractor defence in the two landmark decisions.

In an empowering discussion between the speakers and the audience (made up of  accountants, company secretaries and senior management of listcos,)  issues that emerged including the following:

  • how an enforcement actions can assist the victims who suffered loss as a result of anti-competitive conduct; and
  • how proper companies’ internal monitors and compliance procedures can protect companies and their employers.

Ciphering out practical tips on how to train staff and red flags to look out for, the trio of speakers shared their views on how to also implement  proper compliance procedures around this framework.

The dialogue gave way to an animated exchange of views, progressive thinking and what was thought to be (from feedback received) a “very interactive, practical and easy to understand” presentation.