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China's commerce ministry concludes 156 antitrust probes in H1

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-13 17:32

BEIJING - China concluded 156 anti-monopoly investigations in the first half of the year, facilitating fair market competition, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

Sixty-seven of the cases involved overseas mergers and acquisitions (M&A), up 18 percent year on year, accounting for 43 percent of the total, said MOC spokesperson Gao Feng.

M&A cases between Chinese companies and overseas firms totaled 45, up 15 percent year on year, accounting for 29 percent of the cases.

Companies in the United States, the European Union, and Japan were among the major M&A participants, Gao said.

As the cases of global M&A rise, the MOC has been actively cooperating with international law enforcement agencies, and signed a memorandum of understanding on antitrust cooperation with the market regulator in the United Kingdom.

The MOC has also been improving the efficiency of antitrust investigations, cutting the average review time by about 11.6 percent in the first half compared to 2016.

The investigations have helped with fair market competition, as in the case of the merger between chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont, which the MOC approved with preconditions that the two should divest some businesses.

The conditional approval has helped maintain fair competition in the industry while protecting the interests of farmers, the MOC said.

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