On 13 August 2010, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) issued a conditional approval for the proposed acquisition of Alcon (“Alcon”) by Novartis AG (“Novartis”). The decision was issued after a merger review of just under four months (one month for Phase One review and just under three months for Phase Two), although there is no record of how long the pre-notification took. This is the seventh announced decision since the Anti-Monopoly Law of China (“AML”) came into force, and the only announced decision this year. Once again, the substantive grounds are not straightforward, demonstrating that it is not safe to rely on market shares alone For

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