Nestle's Wyeth Nutrition to cut China prices after probe

ZURICH, July 5 Wed Jul 3, 2013 7:42am EDT

ZURICH, July 5 (Reuters) - Wyeth Nutrition, the infant formula company Nestle bought last year, is cutting its prices in China after the country put five foreign infant milk formula companies under investigation for possible antitrust violations.

Wyeth Nutrition said in a statement it had been actively cooperating with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and was responding by cutting its prices and improving sales and marketing practices, without giving details.

"Wyeth Nutrition decided to implement a price reduction of key products from July 8 through 2014. The average reduction will be at 11 percent with the biggest single product price reduction at 20 percent," it said.

The other companies under investigation are Nestle SA , Abbott Laboratories, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co and Danone's Dumex brand.

Foreign infant formula is a highly coveted item in China after a 2008 scandal when tainted infant formula from a domestic provider left at least six children dead and damaged public trust. Foreign brands now account for about half of total sales.

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