Between Aug. 1, 2008, when China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (ALM) came into force, and mid-March, when the Chinese rejected the Coke-Huiyan merger, the Ministry of Commerce received 40 notifications under the legislation and reviewed 29 of them.
Before the Coke decision, rulings had been made in 24 cases. Twenty-three transactions were approved unconditionally. But the other case, which involved the worldwide merger of brewers U.S.-based Anheuser-Busch and Belgian-based InBev, received approval from Chinese regulators in November 2008, only after the breweries agreed not to increase their existing stakes in Chinese companies. The restrictions fueled speculation that the ALM was aimed at foreign companies.