'Mr. Confession' and his boss drive China's antitrust crusade

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By Michael Martina and Matthew Miller BEIJING (Reuters) - A signboard at the top of a staircase in the ageing Beijing offices of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) directs lawyers and company officials to numbered conference rooms for antitrust meetings. The printed list names half a dozen or more companies on any given day - a sign of the recent flurry of activity from the NDRC - one of China's three antitrust regulators. Inside those rooms, lawyers and executives describe meetings with the NDRC as "interrogations", where raised voices, flaring tempers and verbal reprimands are commonplace. From interviews with more than two dozen attorneys, executives, and experts, who have been drawn into investigations with the NDRC's price supervision and anti-monopoly bureau, a picture emerges of a culture of intimidation under the leadership of Director General Xu Kunlin.