China’s market regulator has fined Ford Motor’s joint venture with Changan Automobile Group for $23.55 million (162.8 million yuan), equivalent to 4% of the joint venture’s sales, for violating anti-monopoly law.
According to the State Administration for Market Regulation, the joint venture called the 'Changan Ford' had set a minimum resale price for its cars in the Chinese municipality of Chongqing since 2013, in breach of the law. The joint venture did not provide evidence of compliance with the country’s anti-monopoly law during the investigating.
The State Administration for Market Regulation alleged that Ford Changan’s actions infringed upon the autonomy of the downstream dealers to decide their pricing, restricted their competition with the brand, and also damaged fair competition in the market and consumers’ legal interests.
The regulator’s move comes as Ford has been struggling to revive sales in China — the second biggest market globally for the Dearborn, Michigan automaker — where its business began declining in late 2017.
Shares in Changan Auto fell by over 5% after the news.