NDRC Fined Unilever For Making Advanced Price Increase Announcements
May 16, 2011
On May 6, 2011, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”), the agency responsible for enforcement of the Price Law and price-related conduct under the Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”), announced that Unilever had violated the Price Law by publicly announcing its intention to increase prices. NDRC fined Unilever RMB 2 million (~$308,000, €212,000), the largest fine imposed by NDRC for a violation of the Price Law. Interestingly, though NDRC found that Unilever had attempted to coordinate prices with competitors, it did not invoke the AML. NDRC took no action against three other companies (Proctor & Gamble, Liby and Nice) that announced price increases, perhaps because Unilever gave greater prominence to its announcement by means of press interviews.