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Automakers Face Chinese Antitrust Investigations, Fines

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Aug. 22, 2014—China's antitrust regulator has launched multiple investigations in recent months looking into automakers from around the world due to concerns that automakers were participating in monopoly practices and overcharging Chinese citizens for parts and automobiles.

This month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that it found automakers like Audi, Chrysler and BMW did participte in monopolistic practices, “potentially paving the way for the automakers to be fined up to 10 percent of their domestic annual sales revenue,” in that market, Reuters reported recently.

"NDRC would normally set a percentage of annual sales in relevant markets as fines based on how cooperative the companies are," Colin Liu, a lawyer in the automotive industry, told Reuters.

German-based Audi has been fined around 250 million yuan, or just over $40 million, according to Reuters.

Mercedes Benz is also facing scrutiny from the NDRC.

As a result, many automakers are taking action to lower prices, according to CBC News.

Mercedes has cut prices of replacement parts by up to 29 percent. Audi also announced cuts of up to 38 percent in July, and Chrysler announced a 20 percent price cut for its Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Grand Cherokee 5.7L models, CBC reported.

Others under investigation in the auto industry include 12 Japanese companies, according to another state news agency, the China News Service, CBC wrote.

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