Mercedes-Benz is cooperating with Chinese anti-trust regulators over an investigation

Article by Andrew Christian, on August 7, 2014

Mercedes-Benz is cooperating with the National Development and Reform Commission -- China's anti-monopoly authorities -- over a probe into unspecified matters. Local media have reported authorities have raided Mercedes’ Shanghai office. Mercedes confirmed that it is assisting the authorities in the probe.

Mercedes-Benz spokesman Senol Bayrak said the carmaker is only confirming that officials from the antitrust agency visited the Shanghai office as part of a probe. Shanghai-based paper Jie Mian reported that nine officials from the agency’s antitrust investigation team made a surprise visit at the carmaker’s office in the city.

It reported that the team interviewed several senior executives and even confiscated computers as part of a probe. Prior to the raid, Mercedes disclosed it would drop prices on over 10,000 spare parts by an average of 15 percent. It followed a similar cut in prices for repair and maintenance services disclosed in July.

The German luxury carmaker is the latest foreign company being targeted by the NDRC, who have launched anti-monopoly produced in industries like pharmaceuticals and electronics.

NDRC has labeled US chipmaker Qualcomm a monopoly in July and is expected to impose a heavy fine. NDRC also raided Microsoft's offices in four Chinese cities as part of a current probe.

The raids and probes come as China enforces an anti-monopoly law enacted in 2008. It had already imposed substantial fines to some multinational companies like Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. and Danone. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: mercedes-benz, china

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