In addition, the guidelines remove the term “same industry,” which means that the term is interpreted broadly. According to the definition of a professional organization as defined in the guidelines, the assessment of an organization`s trade association cannot be based solely on its registered name. Instead, the guidelines define, among other things, almost all types of associations based on their organization, nature and purpose. The Competition Regulation (the “Regulation”), Hong Kong`s first inter-professional competition law, was adopted on 14 June 2012 and finally came into force on 14 December 2015. Trade associations play an important role in society by defending a particular sector for the public and government and defending the common interests of their members. This platform allows members to discuss important business issues, market trends and any legislation or directions proposed by the government that may be important to them. It is important that members are able to tap into invaluable networking opportunities, related to membership in a trade association, in order to grow their business. Professional associations also have valuable information about the relevant sector, such as news, professional development and research materials, to help members keep abreast of market trends and developments. It is therefore clear that companies can reap many benefits from membership in a trade association. Given the benefits, it is not surprising that there are hundreds of trade associations in Hong Kong in different sectors and sectors. A: information on future plans should be strictly monitored; Disclosure of future projects outside the company could change competitors` decisions and raise issues of cartels and abuse of dominance. In addition, employees should be cautious when communicating information with their competitors that they would not otherwise be able to share through intermediaries such as a financial analyst or even a supplier.
If the consultant shared this specific information with the company`s competitors, which would change their pricing strategy, these indirect communications could be seen as a means of facilitating the agreement if other evidence indicates a coordinated strategy. Trade associations play an active role in promoting industry development and self-discipline and social responsibility. Professional organizations should set an example for members and encourage them to comply with anti-monopoly and tariff laws and regulations and promote awareness of fair competition. However, in recent years, professional organizations have often organized their members to implement monopolistic agreements or other illegal activities in the name of industry self-discipline or to put an end to low or predatory prices. Some professional organizations have played a leading role in monopoly agreements, while association assemblies have become the source of illegal activities. By the end of July 2017, SAIC had published details of 24 cases of horizontal monopoly agreements, 12 of which involved trade associations that had entered into and implemented monopoly agreements. In addition, of the 16 horizontal monopoly agreements notified by the NDRC, five concern trade associations, two of which have been fined up to Rmb 500,000, while another has been forced to opt out (for more details, see “Unsubscription: the trade association receives the most severe sanction for cartels and abuse of dominance”). (4) Therefore, the introduction of the guidelines is timely and should help professional organisations to assess legal risks and limit and reduce association-led monopolies.