Right Steps

Updated: 2013-09-13 10:01

(China Daily)

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Antitrust and anti-competition actions taken against companies in China this year

Jan 4

Collective fines of 353 million yuan ($57.68 million; 43.49 million euros) imposed on six liquid crystal display makers for being part of a cartel that fixed LCD prices on the mainland between 2001 and 2006. Companies fined were Samsung and LG of South Korea and Taiwanese companies AU Optronics, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Chimei InnoLux and HannStar.

Feb 23

Combined fines of 449 million yuan ($73.37 million) imposed on domestic white spirits makers Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd and Wuliangye Yibin Co Ltd for price fixing. The fines were equivalent to 1 percent of total sales achieved by these companies last year. Local media reported that the companies violated antitrust laws by setting minimum retail prices for distributors.

Aug 7

Six infant formula producers, including one from China, ordered to pay fines of 668.73 million yuan for price fixing and resale price maintenance. The fines are the largest ever for an antitrust infringement in China.

The six producers are Mead Johnson, Dumex, Abbott, Friesland, Fonterra and Biostime of Guangzhou, which was fined 163 million yuan, or 6 percent of its sales revenue last year. The other five companies were fined 3 to 4 percent of their revenue last year.

Aug 12

Penalties and fines amounting to 10.08 million yuan imposed on five Shanghai-based gold retailers. They included Shanghai-listed Shanghai Lao Feng Xiang Co Ltd and the fines amounted to 1 percent of last year's sales.

The Shanghai Gold & Jewelry Trade Association was also fined half a million yuan for "organization of unified price adjustments" by gold retailers over the past six years, a step seen as a violation of the antitrust law. The manipulation involved gold and platinum products.


The National Development and Reform Commission has launched antitrust investigations in the pharmaceutical and medical services sector. The commission is investigating 60 foreign and local pharmaceutical companies over pricing.

Xu Kunlin, head of the price and antitrust department of the NDRC, told China Central Television on Aug 16 that monopoly behavior in the petroleum, telecommunications, vehicle and banking industries would be investigated.

The NDRC will also look at banks' controls over deposit rates after the market-oriented reform of interest rates.

The NDRC will also urge Chinese telecom operators to further cut service charges during the remaining four months of the year, the Information Daily reported, citing an unidentified source. High prices have been the main cause of consumer complaints. The three major telecom operators, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, may cut prices for their mobile communications and broadband access businesses, the Chinese newspaper said.

( China Daily European Weekly 09/13/2013 page7)