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NDRC Drafts Rules on Monopoly Price

08-13 17:28 Caijing

The rules extend to instances of price collusion overseas, provided there is an impact on the domestic market, said NDRC.

Compiled by Caijing staff

(Caijing.com.cn) The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's state economic planner, has issued draft rules on monopoly prices covering companies, government agencies and industry associations, Xinhua reported August 13.

In an online statement the previous day, the NDRC said the rules extend to instances of price collusion overseas, provided there is an impact on the domestic market, Xinhua said. 

Those conspiring to limit competition will be punished according to the anti-monopoly law, the news agency added.

Retailers might face confiscation of illegal earnings and a maximum fine of 10 percent of last year's sales, while industry associations can be fined up to 500,000 yuan or be disbanded.

Government agencies will be ordered to rectify their actions and officials punished accordingly, Xinhua said.

The public has until September. 6 to comment on the draft regulations.

The regulations might pave the way for a shake-up of the telecoms sector, which is dominated by the three leading state-owned players. However, the new rules will not apply to the oil industry, where prices are set by the NDRC in conjunction with the leading three oil companies.

That the rules also apply overseas might target global iron ore producers, specifically Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which agreed to consolidate their assets in Western Australia in a 50-50 joint venture.

Chen Yanhai, head of the raw material department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in June that China should move to apply anti-monopoly regulations against the deal. The alliance will strengthen Rio and BHP Billiton's control of iron ore supply to China and has the potential to allow them to control spot market sales, an issue that has achieved greater prominence given the continued impasse between the China Iron and Steel Association and global miners over contracts to March 2010.

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