Indian antitrust fines Maruti Suzuki for curbing discounts

by SpeedLux
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India’s Competition Commission fined about 2 billion rupees ($27 million) on Maruti Suzuki India, a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor on Monday over unfair trade practices.

The antitrust regulator said that the fine on India’s biggest automaker was imposed for “indulging in anti-competitive conduct” in the passenger vehicle segment.

It found that the automaker had in place a “Discount Control Policy” whereby its dealers were discouraged from providing discounts or freebies to the customers beyond those prescribed by the automaker.

If a dealer wanted to offer extra discounts, prior approval of the company was required.

Any dealer found breaching the policy was threatened with the imposition of penalties upon the dealership and its workers, accompanied in some cases by the threat of stopping supplies.

The watchdog said the automaker sent people posing as customers to dealerships to check whether they were providing additional discounts.

The regulator deemed this conduct to have resulted in an appreciable adverse effect on competition within the country in violation of the 2002 Competition Act.

Maruti Suzuki has about a 50 percent market share in the country.

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