Country Review: Chinese Taipei
This report, prepared by the Secretariat of the OECD was the basis for a peer review examination of Chinese Taipei at the OECD’s Global Forum on Competition on 9 February, 2006. Competition law in Chinese Taipei has been an important element of the program of economic reforms that moved the economy from centrally directed emphasis on manufacturing and exports to a market-driven emphasis on services and high technology. The competition law follows mainstream practice about restrictive agreements, monopolies and anticompetitive mergers, with a particularly clear statutory basis for concentrating enforcement attention on horizontal collusion. The rules about market deception and unfair practices connect the competition law to consumer interests. There is a risk, though, that rules based on a cultural tradition of fairness might lead to interventions to correct differences in bargaining power, which could dampen competition rather than promote it. The competition enforcement agency, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), is now a stable, experienced administrative agency. It followed an appropriate sequence in introducing competition policy, emphasising transparency and guidance to encourage compliance before undertaking stronger enforcement measures. General reforms are in process that would clarify the independence of the FTC. To improve enforcement against hard-core cartels, a leniency programme should be adopted, and the special treatment for agreements among small businesses should be limited. Some other aspects of the enforcement tool-kit should be revised, such as the cap on fines and the use of market share as a merger notification test. The most visible regulatory reforms to promote competition have been in telecoms, although an independent regulator for that sector is just now being set up. The government retains holdings in privatised firms that could have implications for market competition, so FTC vigilance about the risk of cross-subsidy or other distortion remains warranted.
Volume (Year): 10 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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