The antitrust regulator of China announced on Wednesday that Audi and Chrysler could be punished for conducting monopoly behavior. Both automakers risk a fine of up to ten percent of their annual sales revenue in China if the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on-going investigation will reach the conclusion Volkswagen Group’s Audi and Fiat’s Chrysler have „conducted anti-competitive behaviors.”
During a press conference held in Beijing, NDRC’s spokesman Li Pumin declared “they will be punished accordingly in the near future.” We remind that at the end of July we wrote an article about Audi’s intentions to cut prices of spare parts in China as a response to the ongoing investigation in China of the local auto industry and also because of complaints coming from local media referring to foreign automakers who are accused of overcharging Chinese clients on cars and spare parts.
If NDRC will indeed blame Audi for monopoly behavior, this will be a huge blow taking into account that China (including Hong Kong) accounts for 33 percent of the company’s global sales by volume. NDRC didn’t say exactly which punishment will be applied but under the current laws they can implement a fine between one and ten percent of the revenue obtained during the previous year.