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Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 17:34

Medtronic fined US$17m for monopoly pricing in China

By Xinhua
Medtronic fined US$17m for monopoly pricing in China
Medtronic Inc's booth at an international medical device exhibition in Beijing. ( Photo/Provided to China Daily)

BEIJING -- China's top economic planner announced Wednesday that it has fined the Chinese unit of US medical device maker Medtronic 118.5 million yuan (about US$17 million) for monopoly pricing .

It was the first price fixing case involving a medical device maker investigated by Chinese anti-monopoly regulators.

The company...has improperly suppressed competition through monopoly agreements with distributors, and set minimum prices, the NDRC said

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that since 2014, the company, which supplies cardiovascular, restorative, and diabetes-related medical devices, has improperly suppressed competition through monopoly agreements with distributors, and set minimum prices.

Currently, there is no full and open competition in the nation's high-value and implantable medical device market. Medtronic's minimum price agreements for medical devices hurt patients, the NDRC said.

The fine represents 4 percent of 2015 sales volumes of devices involved in the case. The company has already taken initiatives to make corrective measures, the NDRC said.

"Chinese consumers welcome advanced medical devices from foreign companies, but we are against market monopoly that destroys fair competition. We will track the company's corrective measures," said Zhang Handong, a NDRC official in charge of the anti-monopoly department.

Authorities will continue to strengthen anti-monopoly supervision over medical device companies to ensure fair competition and protect consumers, he said.

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