Science & technology
Audi says will 'accept penalty' in China anti-monopoly probe
Publish Date: Aug 11, 2014
Audi says will 'accept penalty' in China anti-monopoly probe
Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight car. PHOTO/ AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

SHANGHAI- German luxury car brand Audi will accept punishment from Chinese authorities for breaching anti-monopoly laws in the world's largest auto market, it said Monday.


An investigation by Chinese authorities found that an Audi dealer network had "violated national anti-monopoly laws", the brand's China arm said in a statement, adding the Audi joint venture involved had "closely cooperated with the investigation and will accept a penalty".


China has recently launched probes into alleged wrongdoings by a host of foreign firms in multiple different fields, among them pharmaceuticals, technology and baby milk.


The statement came after China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which polices violations of "anti-monopoly" law, said it had been investigating the auto sector -- dominated by foreign companies and their joint ventures -- for more than two years.


Last week it pledged to punish Audi, and Chrysler of the US, now part of Italy's Fiat group, without stating what penalties they would receive.


China considers using a dominant market position to set prices as a form of monopoly. Violators' "illegal gains" can be confiscated, and they can be fined up to 10 percent of their sales revenue in the previous year.


Audi is owned by the German car firm Volkswagen, which set up a joint venture with Chinese auto giant FAW to manufacture Audis and other models.


"Management processes in the sales and dealership structure are getting improved to prevent similar incidents in the future," the Audi China statement sent to AFP added.


It did not explicitly state that Audi acknowledged any wrongdoing. But it added: "Audi and FAW-Volkswagen attach great importance that all applicable antitrust and competition laws are adhered to."


China has become critically important to foreign carmakers, given the size of the market and weak sales elsewhere in the world.
China's full-year auto sales hit 21.98 million vehicles last year, when a recovery in Japanese brands offset the impact of slowing economic growth.


The inquiry into carmarkers comes as the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), which also enforces the anti-monopoly law, investigates US software giant Microsoft for allegedly operating a monopoly.


In another chill for US tech firms, state media have said China is planning to announce chip maker Qualcomm has monopoly status in the mobile phone chip market.


Foreign pharmaceutical companies including Britain's GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have also been the target of wide-ranging investigations.


Others businesses, such as Apple and Starbucks, meanwhile, have sometimes received unfavourable coverage in state media over issues regarding service and pricing.


The moves have prompted fears from investors that overseas companies are being especially targeted, but China said Saturday that its anti-monopoly law does not discriminate between domestic and overseas companies.

AFP

Related Stories

Apple never on China government procurement list

China's biggest mobile firm launches Apple iPhone sales

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Twitter spices timelines with unasked-for tweets
BASED on a positive response from its tests, the popular one-to-many messaging service is inching toward the Facebook of using software to "curate" what users see based on their interests...
Twitter tweets start to sing
Twitter on Thursday began letting people instantly listen to music and other audio by clicking on tweets from the popular messaging service....
Smartphones cut into Google profit & share price
THE rise of smartphone use to access the Internet, and slowing clicks on ads, cut into profits by Google in the third quarter, the company has revealed...
Apple starts iPhone 6 sales in China
APPLE began selling its latest iPhone in China Friday, nearly a month after other major territories due to a licence delay by regulators...
Microsoft
Microsoft-owned Skype on Tuesday unveiled a new app enabling users to send short video messages to stay "connected between calls."...
Google unveils
Google on Wednesday ramped up its mobile arsenal, upgrading its Nexus line with a new tablet and smartphone, and unveiling its revamped Android software, to be dubbed "Lollipop."...
Do Ugandan tycoons prepare their children to take over their business empires?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter