China accuses Mercedes of pricing abuse, monopoly

By Melissa Barclay,

China’s government concluded that Mercedes-Benz violated anti-monopoly laws and abused their pricing for parts.

According to the Associated Press, the Chinese government also said the company charged an excessive amount for parts. Investigators said that prices were so high that buying parts would be equivalent to buying 12 vehicles.

“Mercedes-Benz is a typical case of vertical price fixing — that is, the use of its dominant position in after-market parts to maintain price controls,” said chief of the Jiangsu price agency’s anti-monopoly unit, Zhou Gao.

As a result of the investigation, Mercedes and Audi cut the prices of replacement parts. Chrysler also cut its prices, but on imported vehicles.

According to Reuters, the investigation was launched last month by the Jiangsu Province Price Bureau. Mercedes-Benz said it was assisting the authorities earlier this month.

Audi and Chrysler were also found guilty of monopoly by the Chinese government.

As a result, Audi would be fined around 33 million pounds, or about $55 million.

Over the past few years, the Chinese government has been strictly reinforcing its anti-monopoly laws. Among other companies being investigated is Microsoft Corp.

 
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