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China accuses Audi and Chrysler of monopolistic practices

Audi and Chrysler are facing sanctions from China for violating the country's antitrust laws. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) found that the two automakers exaggerated the price of their vehicles and spare parts.

A similar enquiry also targets Mercedes-Benz (Daimler).

"Monopolistic practices are quite rampant in the auto industry. NDRC is first targeting imported luxury brands because the problem is most severe in this area," said Yale Zhang, managing director of consultancy Automotive Foresight (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. "It's also a warning signal to the industry. If top brands like Audi gets punishment, others would know what to do."

Foreign automakers argue that the price difference is due to higher import duties and other taxes in China. Both Audi and China are fully cooperating with NDRC investigators, however.

Pressed by Chinese authorities, some manufacturers have agreed to slash their prices in recent weeks. For example, Daimler will make more than 10,000 parts cheaper beginning September 1st.

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