United States: 对《反不正当竞争法(修订草案送审稿)》的两点解读:商业贿赂条款和

Last Updated: February 23 2017
Article by Dentons  

对《反不正当竞争法(修订草案送审稿)》的两点解读:商业贿赂条款和滥用相对优势地位条款

2016-03-22 反垄断实务评论 作者:邓志松 戴健民

《反不正当竞争法(修订草案送审稿)》(以下简称"《修订草案》")正在向全社会公开征求意见。经过二十四年的实施,1993年颁布的《反不正当竞争法》相对于日新月异的经济社会发展现状亟需修订。《修订草案》对现行法律总共33条中的30条均有修改,更新力度可谓空前,也将进一步完善中国现行的包括《反垄断法》在内的竞争法体系。特别是基于竞争法的实务角度,《修订草案》中的商业贿赂条款及滥用市场优势地位条款预计将企业经营产生直接的现实影响。我们认为,目前草案中对于这两个极具现实意义的条款的修订既有有突出的亮点和意义,也存在进一步合理化的空间。

一、商业贿赂条款的修订

(一)修订草案的亮点和意义

1、统一了执法主体

依据现行《反不正当竞争法》第三条第二款的规定,长期以来,银行、保险、电信、建设工程招投标等行业的商业贿赂监管,均由各自的行业主管部门负责。此次《修订草案》将该条款修改为:"县级以上人民政府工商行政管理部门对不正当竞争行为进行监督检查;其他法律、行政法规另有规定的,相关部门也可以依照其规定进行监督检查"。据此,未来工商部门对商业贿赂行为的执法,将不再存在禁区。

2、明确了商业贿赂的内涵和外延

受现行《反不正当竞争法》未对商业贿赂概念予以界定的影响,执法机构对于商业贿赂行为缺乏统一的认定标准,由此在执法实践中出现了泛商业贿赂化的现象。这在一定程度上制约了经营者创新商业模式的积极性。此次《修订草案》顺应社会各界要求明晰商业贿赂概念的呼声,对商业贿赂的内涵予以了定义,并通过列举的方式,表述了商业贿赂行为的表现形式,从而在一定程度上限定了商业贿赂的外延范围。相信未来我国的反商业贿赂执法,将更为系统、合理和有效。

3、罚则设计更为科学

现行《反不正当竞争法》中对于商业贿赂行为的处罚由没收违法所得和1至20万元的罚款组成。在执法实践中,由于缺乏科学的计算方法,违法所得的计算始终难以真正做到合法性与合理性的统一。而20万元的罚款上限,又无法对此类违法行为形成足够的威慑。因此,在《修订草案》中,对于商业贿赂行为的处罚不再包括没收违法所得,转而采用以违法经营额为基数,处以一定比例(10-30%)罚款的罚则设计。与违法所得相比,违法经营额不涉及复杂的成本计算,将有利于提高行政执法的效率。而相对明确的处罚基数与比例,也能使经营者较为准确的预测其相关行为的法律后果,从而发挥法律的指引作用。

(二)条款的进一步修改和完善

1、商业贿赂的定义仍有待完善

《修订草案》第七条第二款对于商业贿赂的定义有待进一步的完善。在该款中,商业贿赂的表现形式被定义为"给付或者承诺给付经济利益"。但在商品(服务)交易中,价格折让、免费售后、买大送小等商业模式均属于"给付经济利益",也都具有为经营者谋取交易机会或者竞争优势的作用。以此来区别合法商业行为与商业贿赂行为,其科学性有待商榷。事实上,法条本身对此问题的观点也存在矛盾。从《修订草案》第七条第一款第(二)项的表述来看,经营者之间如能在合同及会计凭证中如实记载,则"给付经济利益"并不违法。我们认为,"隐秘性"才是商业贿赂的本质特征。也是其社会危害性的主要根源。如将商业贿赂的定义修改为:"经营者向交易对方或者可能影响交易的第三方,暗中给付或者承诺给付经济利益,诱使其为经营者谋取交易机会或者竞争优势",可能更为科学合理。

2、制定违法经营额的认定标准

在此次《修订草案》中,未对违法经营额的认定标准予以规定,这可能给未来的反商业贿赂执法带来一定的问题。实践中,除回扣以外,大部分商业贿赂行为与交易之间未必存在一一对应关系。因此,违法经营额的计算将取决于执法机构对于涉案交易的范围和时间跨度的界定。为了保证这类界定的公平公正,我们建议在该法或后续的立法中,补充关于违法经营额认定标准和计算办法的相关条款。

二、滥用相对优势地位条款的修订

(一)修订草案的亮点和意义

《修订草案》纳入了两种新的类型化的不正当竞争行为,其中之一便是第六条规定的滥用相对优势地位条款。这一新的规定明确提高了对市场上实力较强的经营者的行为要求,体现了《修订草案》第二条所规定的市场正当竞争原则——"经营者在经济活动中,应当遵循自愿、平等、公平、诚实信用的原则,遵守公认的商业道德"。的确,从人类社会道德规范的角度来看,滥用相对优势地位好比乘人之危,将其纳入不正当竞争的范畴,也是人类道德在商业领域的反映。此外,在大众创业、万众创新的环境下,保护中小企业不被欺压,也顺应了时代的需求。

(二)与《反垄断法》市场支配地位滥用条款的关系

《反垄断法》与《反不正当竞争法》的本质区别在于,《反垄断法》旨在确保市场上存在竞争,市场竞争机制发挥应有的资源配置作用,而《反不正当竞争法》则是在市场存在竞争的前提下,确保经营者不要恶性竞争、不择手段地损人利己,败坏商业道德。从这个区别出发,可以看到滥用相对优势地位与《反垄断法》第十七条规定的市场支配地位滥用存在本质不同。前者在构成要件和行为效果方面都有自己的特点,其不要求经营者具有市场支配地位,也不要求其行为限制了市场竞争,只需符合相对优势或依赖性条件,该经营者就不应从事有损商业道德的行为。对经营者而言,滥用相对优势地位条款提出了新的行为准则,不能再用市场支配地位滥用条款的思路去对待这一新规则。

(三)条款的进一步修改和完善

从实务角度来看,滥用相对优势地位条款目前有两大不确定性。一是依赖性的界定,二是滥用行为的具体认定。依赖性是相对优势地位的核心,《修订草案》中提到依赖性意味着"交易相对方...难以转向其他经营者",这里就存在程度问题,"难以"在时间、空间、技术、成本、利润等多个角度都能进行评估,但是达到什么程度才算"难以"则并不确定。另外,滥用行为的构成都要求"没有正当理由"或"不合理",什么是正当、合理,这本身也不确定。这两个不确定叠加在一起,可能会使证明滥用相对优势地位的难度非常高。

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