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EU Chamber expresses concern over recent antitrust investigations

2014-08-14 15:01 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

The European Union Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday expressed concern over the transparency and fairness of the ongoing antitrust investigations in China, in which a number of European companies were targeted.

China's auto industry is currently under an anti-monopoly investigation launched by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), in which some European automakers such as Germany's Mercedes-Benz and Audi have been targeted.

The chamber said that China's anti-trust investigation is beneficial for developing a healthy market economy, but the European business community is "increasingly considering the question of whether foreign companies are being disproportionately targeted in the investigations," it said in a statement e-mailed to the Global Times.

The chamber raised issues that in some of the industries under investigation, domestic companies have not been targeted. And in some cases that involve joint ventures, it is only the foreign partner that has been named as being a party to the investigations.

"The European Chamber has received numerous alarming anecdotal accounts from a number of sectors that administrative intimidation tactics are being used to impel companies to accept punishments and remedies without full hearings," it said.

However, Shen Danyang, a MOFCOM spokesman, said in a statement on Saturday that foreign and domestic companies are treated equally before China's Anti-Monopoly Law.

The NDRC did not respond to the Global Times' request for comment on Wednesday.

So far, major carmakers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler have announced to lower spare parts prices in response to the investigation. Media reported last week that the NDRC has confirmed the monopolistic behaviors of Audi and Chrysler.

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