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Industryweek 7189 Monopoly

Audi Will 'Accept Penalty' In China Anti-Monopoly Probe

Aug. 11, 2014
It is the latest sweeping probe China has launched into alleged wrongdoings by foreign firms in multiple different fields, among them pharmaceuticals, technology and baby milk.

SHANGHAI - German luxury car brand Audi will accept punishment from Chinese authorities for breaching anti-monopoly laws in the world's largest car 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."

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 sector -- dominated by foreign companies and their joint ventures -- for more than two years.

It is the latest sweeping probe China has launched into alleged wrongdoings by foreign firms in multiple different fields, among them pharmaceuticals, technology and baby milk.

Audi is owned by Volkswagen (IW 1000/7), 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 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."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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