(Corrects headline to clarify that China will punish car makers
for monopoly behaviour)
SHANGHAI/BEIJING Aug 6 China said it will
punish foreign car makers Audi and Chrysler as well as some 10
Japanese spare-part makers for violating the country's
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),
responsible for enforcing rules against anti-competitive
pricing, said on Wednesday that it had found Fiat SpA's
Chrysler in Shanghai and Volkswagen 's Audi in Hubei
to be engaging in monopolistic behaviour.
The government has also completed investigations into 12
Japanese auto-parts makers and will mete out punishment to those
found to be breaking the anti-monopoly law, Li Pumin, spokesman
of the NDRC, said at a press conference in Beijing. The NDRC did
not identify the spare-part makers and did not say how many of
them would be punished.
China is intensifying efforts to bring companies into
compliance with an anti-monopoly law enacted in 2008, having in
recent years taken aim at industries as varied as milk powder
In recent months, regulators have ramped up probes in
industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to electronics. A number
of multinational companies including Mead Johnson Nutrition Co
and Danone SA have been slapped with
substantial fines following similar investigations in the past.
In the latest anti-trust blitz, foreign companies that have
been targeted include U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc,
which officials labelled as monopolistic last month and is
widely expected to get a heavy fine. Last week, investigators
stormed Microsoft Corp offices in four Chinese cities
as part of an ongoing probe.
The NDRC said on Wednesday that it was also conducting an
investigation into Daimler's Mercedes-Benz. Last
week, the Jiangsu division of the NDRC conducted investigations
into Mercedes-Benz dealers in five cities.
(Reporting by Wang Lan in BEIJING, Samuel Shen and Fayen Wong
in SHANGHAI; Editing by Ryan Woo)