China says Mercedes guilty of manipulating spare parts price

China says Mercedes guilty of manipulating spare parts price

PanARMENIAN.Net - Carmaker Mercedes-Benz has been found guilty of manipulating the price of spare parts following an investigation by the authorities in China, according to BBC News.

Regulators reportedly said the luxury unit of Germany's Daimler abused its control over supplies of replacement parts, however no mention of the likely penalty was made.

BMW, Audi and Chrysler are also facing sanctions as part of an anti-monopoly crackdown by the authorities.

Overseas companies in the pharmaceuticals, technology and food sector have also faced investigation in recent months.

Last week, the European Chamber of Commerce in China said its members were "increasingly considering the question" of whether foreign companies were being disproportionately targeted.

According to the Xinhua report, investigators from the anti-monopoly bureau of the eastern province of Jiangsu found prices were so high that purchasing the parts used to make one Mercedes C-class car would cost the equivalent of buying 12 vehicles.

"Mercedes-Benz is a typical case of vertical price fixing - that is, the use of its dominant position in after-market parts to maintain price controls," said Zhou Gao, chief of the Jiangsu's anti-monopoly unit, according to Xinhua.

A Daimler spokesperson said on Monday that the company was still "assisting" Chinese authorities, but was "unable to comment further on what is still an on-going matter".

Toyota has said that its Lexus division is under scrutiny, and General Motors has said that its main China joint venture has responded to requests by regulators for information.

Other companies under investigation include Qualcomm, a U.S. maker of microchips used in mobile phones, and software giant Microsoft.

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