Audi has received a massive $40.5 million fine in China related to monopoly charges. The decision has been taken after months of investigations and Chrysler has also been penalized with a $5.2 million fine. Both car manufacturers have been found guilty for establishing minimum pricing strategies and also for forcing their dealers to implement inflated prices not only for their cars but also for service and spare parts.
Chinese regulators will also fine the Audi dealers with more than $5 million and many are expecting that other automakers and parts suppliers will be fined as well in the near future. Some are accusing China for intentionally targeting only foreign companies, even though the Chinese regulators responsible for analyzing monopoly charges say that more than 90 percent of their decisions will affect domestic companies. Regulators said foreign firms account for just 33 of 335 cases affected by the anti-monopoly law established in 2008.
Getting back to Audi, eight of their distributors are facing monopoly charges and have received a combined fine of $4.9 million while three dealerships will have to pay a total fine of $343,000 after agreeing to fix minimum prices for repairs, paint jobs and service. In addition, 12 Japanese auto parts suppliers have received a combined fine of $202 million for colluding to raise prices.