HONG KONG May 9 Leading eye glass makers
operating in China have cut prices by as much as 30 percent
following an investigation by the country's price regulator, the
official Securities Times newspaper reported on Friday.
The National Reform and Development Commission (NRDC)
launched the investigation in August as part of a wider probe
into industries it deemed earned excessive profit.
Other industries investigated for pricing include the milk
powder industry which resulted in $110 million in fines for Mead
Johnson Nutrition Co, Danone and Fonterra
Foreign companies in China are getting increasingly jumpy
about antitrust and corruption investigations and are hiring
lawyers to make sure their operations comply with the law.
The latest investigation involves several international lens
manufacturers, the Securities Times reported.
The newspaper named the U.S.'s Bausch & Lomb Inc
and Johnson & Johnson, Japan's Hoya Corp and
Nikon Corp, France's Essilor International Compagnie
Generale d'Optique and Germany's Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
Bausch & Lomb said in a notice on its Chinese website dated
May 1 that it would cut prices of three types of contact lens by
10 percent to 15 percent to "reward customer support". The
company, whose announcement did not mention the probe, did not
respond to telephone calls from Reuters seeking comment.
Hoya also said on its website on April 30 that it would
lower the price of entry level products by more than 10 percent
"in line with customer purchasing power". The company, who also
did not reference the NRDC, did not immediately respond to an
email seeking comment.
Essilor plans to cut prices by as much as 30 percent, the
Securities Times reported. Neither Essilor nor Zeiss could be
reached for comment outside European working hours.
Nikon in China was not immediately available for comment,
and Johnson & Johnson did not immediately respond to telephone
calls or an email.
Officials at NDRC could not immediately be reached for
(Reporting by Alice Woodhouse; Editing by Christopher Cushing)