B. Exclusions and exemptions
The Competition Ordinance provides for a number of general exclusions (section 3 in respect of statutory bodies, and Schedule 1 in respect of certain types of agreements and conduct) as well as mechanisms under which the Chief Executive in Council may create specific exclusions and exemptions (sections 4, 31 and 32).
Businesses can self-assess whether a particular agreement benefits from any one of the following general exclusions provided under Schedule 1, thereby making the First Conduct Rule inapplicable:
- agreements enhancing overall economic efficiency;
- compliance with legal requirements;
- services of general economic interest;
- mergers; and
- agreements of lesser significance.
Further guidance on these exclusions are provided in the Commission’s Guideline on the First Conduct Rule.