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When China’s new Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) took effect in August 2008, it posed substantial uncertainties for non-China businesses: Would the enforcement agencies, whose missions had focused on managing a planned economy, be competent and even-handed guardians of a market economy? Would MOFCOM, China’s vast and powerful finance-and-commerce ministry, use its merger-review role to protect Chinese firms from deals that strengthened foreign competitors? Would the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) penalize non-Chinese firms that sought to market their products and technology efficiently? How would the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s price-regulation agency, adapt to punishing cartel behavior instead of engaging in it? How would China’s court system enforce the law? And would the enduring role of state ownership in China lead Chinese enforcement agencies to use antitrust investigations to gather corporate intelligence?

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