Alleging violation of rules, China slaps anti-trust probes over auto firms.

Including both domestic and foreign names in its list, China has slapped anti-trust probes over 1,000 auto firms. Companies such as Mercedes and Audi also face allegations for violating anti-monopoly rules.

So far, General Motors is the most recent company to be contacted by the National Development and Reform Commissionl (NDRC), responsible for conducting the probes. It is under the impact of these ongoing investigations, since 2011, that several overseas car makers have shelved prices, for either their vehicles or spare parts.

China anti-trust probe auto firms

It is reported that FAW-Volkswagen’s Audi division may face a fine of ¥1.8 billion ($292 million) for operating a monopoly, which equates to one percent of the company’s sales in 2013.

The country’s Anti-Monopoly Law states that violators can be fined between 1-10 percent of their sales turnout for the previous year. 

Most European companies have lashed out at this move, alleging that the Chinese Government was employing the law as an intimidation tactic and imposing unfair punishments to companies without a fair trial.

Domestic automakers account for under 20 percent of the country’s entire auto sales.

The auto industry is not alone in this respect, as many telecommunications, cement and medical companies have also been included in these investigations. In fact, tech giants Qualcomm and Microsoft have also been approached by the commission.
Photo Credits: Automotive News


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