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The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Government) is committed to promoting competition to enhance economic efficiency and free trade, thereby benefitting both consumers and businesses. We believe that competition is best nurtured by allowing the free play of market forces and keeping intervention to the minimum.
Following a review in 2005 and two rounds of public consultation in 2006 and 2008, the Competition Bill was introduced to the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2010, to provide a legal framework that would prohibit and deter undertakings in all sectors from engaging in anti-competitive conduct which prevents, restricts or distorts competition in Hong Kong. After thorough deliberation at LegCo, the Competition Ordinance (the Ordinance) was enacted in June 2012. It was implemented in phases and came into full operation on 14 December 2015. The text of the Ordinance can be found here.
The Competition Commission (the Commission) was established in 2013 under the Ordinance as an independent statutory body. The Commission’s Chairperson and members are appointed by the Chief Executive. The Commission has the following functions:
- investigate conduct that may contravene the competition rules and enforce the provisions of the Ordinance;
- promote public understanding of the value of competition and how the Ordinance promotes competition;
- promote the adoption by undertakings carrying on business in Hong Kong of appropriate internal controls and risk management systems, to ensure their compliance with the Ordinance;
- advise the Government on competition matters in Hong Kong and outside Hong Kong;
- conduct market studies into matters affecting competition in markets in Hong Kong; and
- promote research into and the development of skills in relation to the legal, economic and policy aspects of competition law in Hong Kong.
Guidelines on the interpretation and implementation of the competition rules of the Ordinance, procedures for making complaints and applications for exemption and exclusion decisions, as well as other relevant information about the Commission and its enforcement of the Ordinance, can be found on the Commission’s website.
Outcome of the Commission's review of the structure, ranking and remunerations of its top three tiers of staff (2020) can be viewed here.
A competition regulatory framework in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors existed prior to the enactment of the Ordinance. To reconcile the two, the Ordinance provides that the Communications Authority has concurrent jurisdiction with the Commission on cases relating to the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors (see Section 159 of the Ordinance).
The Commission and the Communications Authority have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate the performance of their functions under the Ordinance. The MOU is published on the Commission’s website.
The Competition Tribunal is set up within the Judiciary as a superior court of record that has the primary jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate on competition cases brought by the Commission, follow-on private actions as well as reviews of certain determinations of the Commission.
Every judge of the Court of First Instance (CFI) is, by virtue of his or her appointment as CFI Judge, a member of the Competition Tribunal. The President and the Deputy President of the Tribunal are appointed by the Chief Executive, on the recommendations of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission, from among members of the Tribunal.
The Competition Policy Advisory Group (COMPAG), chaired by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, handles competition-related complaints against entities which are not subject to the competition rules of the Ordinance. Such entities include government entities, most statutory bodies, and any other entities which have been exempted from the application of the competition rules. Other relevant information of COMPAG can be found on COMPAG’s website.