BEIJING – Chinese regulators have fined a Nissan joint venture $19.3 million in a long-running anti-monopoly probe of the auto industry that has snared global automakers.
Regulators in the southern province of Guangdong said Dongfeng Nissan Auto Sales Co. improperly enforced minimum prices for vehicles and limited sales channels.
Other foreign auto brands including Mercedes Benz and Chrysler have been fined for similar infractions. Setting minimum retail prices is common in other countries but Chinese regulators reject it as a violation of free market competition.
Anti-monopoly regulators have investigated automakers, technology suppliers and dairies over the past two years in an apparent effort to force down prices.
Business groups say the secretive and abrupt way the investigations are conducted is alienating foreign companies. Regulators deny foreign companies are treated unfairly.