Mercedes-Benz is the latest to join a growing list of automakers being fined by the Chinese government for monopolistic behavior in the country.
According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, authorities in the eastern Jiangsu province fined Mercedes 350 million yuan (approximately $56 million) after they determined the automaker had pressured dealers to set a floor on prices for cars and spare parts. Last year Audi was fined $40.6 million and Chrysler $5.2 million for similar practices.
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Authorities last year started investigating automakers and other major firms, such as those in the parts business as well as tech and food industries, for monopolistic behavior after receiving complaints from customers and local media. The fine handed out to Mercedes is the highest so far for an automaker in the probe.
“Mercedes-Benz China accepts the decision and takes its responsibilities under the competition law very seriously,” Mercedes parent company Daimler said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “We have taken all appropriate steps to ensure to fully comply with the law.”
Note, such practices aren’t limited to emerging markets like China. In 2008, Mercedes settled a lawsuit filed against it in the U.S. also for price fixing.