China says fines Medtronic local unit 118.5 million yuan for price fixing

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator has fined a local unit of U.S.-listed medical device firm Medtronic PLC MDT.N 118.5 million yuan (£13.6 million) for price fixing, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The state planner said it had fined Medtronic (Shanghai) Management Co following an investigation into monopolistic behaviour related to the firm’s cardiovascular and diabetes medical device products.

The NDRC said Medtronic had carried out monopolistic behaviour with its distributors and local partners to fix prices and set lower limits on the resale price to hospitals.

“We can confirm that Medtronic was investigated by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) related to the country’s anti-monopoly law, and Medtronic accepts the NDRC’s decision,” a company spokesman said in emailed comments.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that we are in full compliance with local laws and regulations.”

China has fined car makers, drug manufacturers and white goods firms over the last year for price fixing, while medical device makers came under the spotlight as far back as 2013.

Foreign firms from the United States, Japan and Europe still dominate China’s medical devices market, although China has said it wants to create domestic champions in the sector.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Stephen Coates