Shanghai, China – Hankook Tire Co. Inc.’s sales company in Shanghai was fined nearly $340,000 (€300,00) recently by local regulators for monopolistic pricing practices.
In 2012 and 2013, the sales company set a floor price for tire distributors in Shanghai, said a spokesman for China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Such practices raise the price that Hankook’s retail and commercial customers must pay – a violation of China's antitrust law, the spokesman said during a press conference last week.
The commission is China’s central price regulatory body. In the past few years, China has stepped up anti-monopoly investigations of foreign and domestic companies. Hankook is the latest global supplier to be penalized by antitrust authorities.
Last year, a dozen Japanese automotive suppliers – including heavyweights such as Denso and Mitsubishi Electric – were fined for price-fixing.
Four global auto makers – Audi, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan – have received hefty fines for antitrust violations.