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Chrysler gets antitrust ticket in Shanghai

Updated: Sep 12,2014 9:35 AM     Xinhua

SHANGHAI - Chrysler (China) Automobile Sales Co Ltd will pay up to 31.7 million yuan after an antitrust fine was issued by the Shanghai pricing bureau.

According to the bureau’s anti-monopoly probe, Chrysler had signed a distribution agreement with car dealers between 2012 and 2014, in which it required dealers to keep “the manufacturer’s recommended prices”. It even punished dealers which sold cars lower than the recommended prices by freezing or delaying its supply.

In addition to the fine, the bureau also announced on Thursday that three of its car dealerships in Shanghai will also receive antitrust tickets with a combined value of 2.14 million yuan.

The three car dealers signed an agreement in April to establish unified prices for car maintenance, spare parts and paint jobs for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge automobiles.

The monopoly practices by Chrysler and the three dealers have violated legitimate rights and interests of consumers and other companies, the bureau said. The fines were given in line with China’s Anti-Monopoly Law.

The fine to Chrysler equals 3 percent of its annual revenue for involved products, the bureau added.

Sources said Chrysler has made rectification in the sales, refunded dealers which have suffered losses from its mandatory pricing, and opened the distribution channel for its spare parts.

Chinese regulators have reinforced anti-monopoly enforcement on the luxury car market, where automobiles and spare parts can cost significantly more in China than in other countries.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday spoke out against the perception that China is targeting foreign firms with its recent campaign of antitrust probes.

Speaking at the New Leaders’ Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, Li told business people and entrepreneurs that only 10 percent of all such probes have examined the practices of foreign firms in China.