China fines Mercedes on price-fixing charges in wide-ranging auto industry probe

AutoAssociated Press

A Chinese regulator has fined Mercedes Benz 350 million yuan ($57 million) on price-fixing charges in a probe of the auto industry that has prompted complaints foreign automakers are being treated unfairly.

The price bureau in the eastern province of Jiangsu said Thursday the unit of Germany's Daimler AG was fined for violating anti-monopoly law by setting minimum prices dealers were required to charge.

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Other companies including Audi, Chrysler and a group of Japanese auto parts makers also have been fined.

Business groups say the secretive and abrupt way the investigations are conducted is alienating foreign companies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said last year Beijing might be violating its free-trade commitments.

Regulators deny foreign companies are treated unfairly.