China fines Changan Ford for vertical monopoly agreements
China's State Administration for Market Regulation announced Wednesday that it has imposed a fine of 162.8 million yuan (US$23.6 million) on automaker Changan Ford for implementing vertical monopoly agreements.
Since 2013, Changan Ford Automobile Co. has restricted the minimum vehicle resale prices for downstream dealers in Chongqing municipality, violating China's anti-monopoly law, the administration said in a statement on its website.
The company's practices deprived the downstream dealers of pricing autonomy, excluded and restricted the competition within the brand and in effect weakened the competition among brands, the statement said.
"[Such practices] damaged the fair competition in the relevant market and the legitimate interests of consumers," it added.
Thus, the administration imposed the fine that equals to 4 percent of the company's 2018 sales in Chongqing in accordance with the anti-monopoly law.
The authority will continue to strengthen anti-monopoly law enforcement to safeguard fair market competition, build a sound business environment, promote high-quality development and protect consumer interests, according to the statement.