The Tension between Public Interest Litigations and Private Actions under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law
Created on:2024-01-03 20:03 PV:690
By Sinchit Lai & Jing Zhang | Article | 16 Tsinghua China L. Rev. 19 (2023)   |   Download Full Article PDF


China’s Anti-Monopoly Law came into effect in 2008. Since then, the country has been relying on both conventional public enforcement and private enforcement to combat anti-competitive conduct. Then, in 2022, China amended its Anti-Monopoly Law for the first time. Among other things, the amendment extended the then-existing public interest litigation regime to the antitrust field. Thereafter, if antitrust victims want to seek compensation, they can either (1) file a private action and claim damages by themselves or (2) ask the procuratorate to initiate a public interest litigation and claim damages for them. The rise of the new form of antitrust enforcement provides an incentive for some victims to free-ride the procuratorate’s effort, hindering the development of private antitrust enforcement in China. As a first attempt, this article examines the tension between the two forms of enforcement via cost-benefit analysis and proposes ways to mitigate its negative consequences.

Keywords: Anti-Monopoly Law of China; Public Interest Litigation; Private Enforcement; Free Riding; Public Interest