The National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) is to fine Moutai, Wuliangye a total of 449 million yuan [US$71.9 million] for price-fixing, including 247 million [US$39.5 million] for Moutai and 202 million [US$32.3 million] for Wuliangye, which accounts for 1 percent of these two enterprises’ sales volume of 2012.

At the end of 2012, China’s high-end domestic Baijiu suffered from depression due to  plasticizer rumor and alcohol prohibition. As dealers competing to sell alcohol at cheaper prices, Moutai announced to impose fine on three dealers for low-price and cross-border selling, and suspend their contracts with Moutai along with 20% deduction on the margin.

Wuliangye also issued notifications that some operators and stores were illegally selling Wuliangye liquor at low cost or beyond their sales area. Some experts say that Moutai and Wuliangye are suspected of violating the antitrust laws.

Moutai put forward its announcement on Jan 15 that it would cancel previous policies against antitrust laws and rectify their sales management thoroughly. On Jan 16, it promised to lift punishment on related dealers and return the deducted margin. Wuliangye also stated on Jan 17 that it would strengthen the study of antitrust laws and rectify related policies and documents.

Source: The Morning Whistle Feb 2013

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