Interview with Rose Webb: Antitrust in Asia Conference (April 7, 2017)

Antitrust in Asia: One size fits all? ASEAN, China, Hong Kong, India…

Rose Webb (Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Competition Commission) has been interviewed by Derek Ritzmann (Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon, Hong Kong) on the Commission’s successes, challenges, case prioritization, and lessons. They will join the Antitrust in Asia conference that will take place in Hong Kong on April 7, 2017 at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance did not fully commence until late in 2015.  You and other senior staff, including the first CEO Stanley Wong, joined the Commission during 2014. An important early responsibility for the Commission during this time was outreach and education to the business community and greater public regarding the new law, its advantages, and the new responsibilities it creates. Could you share some of the challenges the Commission faced in this education process, and some of the Commission’s successes?

As with other new laws, competition law requires changes to long standing business practices and business culture. There was substantial initial resistance from businesses in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who alleged that the new law would be burdensome in terms of compliance. The Commission needed to persuade businesses, especially SMEs, that a shift to a competition culture will provide a more level playing field which will translate into more business opportunities and growth, and that business success should be built on innovation and meritocracy. We also needed to help them understand some of their old practices may raise risks and help them change. ( . . . )

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