China slaps Alibaba with $2.8 billion fine in anti-monopoly probe

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Chinese regulators hit Alibaba with a 18.23 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine in its anti-monopoly investigation of the tech giant, saying it abused its market dominance. Regulators opened a probe into the company’s monopolistic practices in December. The investigation’s main focus was a practice that forces merchants to choose one of two platforms, rather than being able to work with both.

In a Saturday statement, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said this policy stifles competition in China’s online retail market and “infringes on the businesses of merchants on the platforms and the legitimate rights and interests of consumers,” according to a CNBC translation of a Chinese-language statement. The government said that “choose one” policy and others allowed Alibaba to bolster its position in the market and gain unfair competitive advantages.

In addition to the fine, which amounts to about 4% of the company’s 2019 revenue, regulators said Alibaba will have to file self-examination and compliance reports to the SAMR for three years. The company said in a statement it accepted the penalty and will comply with the SAMR’s determination. Alibaba said it fully cooperated with the investigation, conducted a self-assessment and already implemented improvements to its internal systems.

China slaps Alibaba with $2.8 billion fine in anti-monopoly probe, CNBC, Apr 12

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