Edited by Albert A. Foer and Jonathan W. Cuneo
Lawrence S. Liu1 and Frank S. Chang2 Introduction Taiwan’s Fair Trade Law (FTL) of 1992, as amended, is highly influenced by EU- and German-style competition legislation. The two salient components of the FTL are antitrust law and unfair competition law. The FTL’s legislative goals are ‘maintaining trade order, protecting consumers’ interests, ensuring fair competition, and promoting economic stability and prosperity’.3 To this end, the enforcement mechanism of FTL imposes civil liability, criminal sanctions and administrative enforcement. 1. How does a damages action case get started? Damages actions under Taiwan’s FTL are relatively rare, because the legislative focus is administrative enforcement by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (TFTC). In the view of some commentators, a damages suit may result from business disputes, such as termination of a dealership. It may also result from large-scale consumer complaints. There is a very small ‘antitrust bar’, if one exists at all. This is because most lawyers treat FTL cases as part of their existing corporate, intellectual property or litigation practice. Also, there is no US-style opt-out class action mechanism, nor is a civil jury or discovery allowed in Taiwan. In light of these limitations, an attorney may have limited incentive to indentify and seek to represent parties injured by anticompetitive acts. In addition, a lawyer cannot solicit clients by using methods which are against public policy, morals, or lawyers’ respect and credibility, as prescribed by the Norm of Lawyers’ Ethics.4 As far as an antitrust claim is concerned, there is no requirement to pursue a...
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