BEIJING, Sept. 9 — China’s top price antitrust agency announced Tuesday that it has fined three Chinese cement companies a total of 114 million yuan (18.5 million U.S. dollars) for price monopolies.
Jilin Yatai Cement Sales Co., North Cement Co. and Jidong Cement Jilin Co. were found to have held private meetings to negotiate prices in their business operations, which disrupted market competition and violated the country’s anti-trust law, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an online statement.
China has stepped up its law enforcement against monopolies over the past two months.
In one recent case, fines of more than 110 million yuan were announced for 23 property insurers and one insurance association in east China’s Zhejiang Province after evidence of price fixing was found.
Price fixing is one of the illegal approach of collusion, which reduce uncertainties resulting from not knowing how rivals will behave and maximize the profits made by the industry as a whole. This usually lowers the quantity traded in a market and increases the price for consumers.