China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published 28 administrative penalties on July 10 for failing to declare illegal concentration of business operators, involving Tencent, Alibaba, Didi, Bilibili, Weibo and other major internet firms, with a total fine of 17.2 million yuan ($2.56 million).
Of the 28 cases, four involved joint ventures, and the remaining 24 were transactions in which internet platform enterprises acquired shares of other companies. The earliest completion time of the transactions dates back to March 2011, and the latest time was in July 2021.
According to the SMAR, all these cases are undeclared transactions that should have been declared in the past. With the deepening of anti-monopoly normalization supervision, business concentration of undertakings has been continuously improved. Self-checking historical transactions, reporting suspected failure to declare according to law and actively cooperating with investigations have become a norm among enterprises. Regulators are speeding up the rectification of existing cases according to law, and the penalty decisions for other cases will be made public.
Article 21 of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law stipulates that “if the concentrations of undertakings meets the reporting standards stipulated by the State Council, the operators shall report to the anti-monopoly law enforcement agency of the State Council in advance, and those who fail to report shall not be concentrated.” According to this, most of the cases disclosed this time constitute illegal concentrations, resulting in fines of 500,000 yuan.