Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak (John Disney/ ALM)

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined Swedish packaging giant Tetra Pak International S.A. $97 million for abusing market dominance.

The fine, the largest ever imposed by the SAIC for antitrust violations, ended a three-year-and-a-half probe into Tetra Pak’s China operations, including bundle sales and loyalty discounts.

In an announcement posted Wednesday on the SAIC’s website, the nation’s top business regulator said that between 2009 and 2013, Tetra Pak abused its market dominance in the liquid foods packing equipment and technology markets by bundle selling paper materials with equipment and technology, and by restraining suppliers from selling to competitors with a loyalty discounts program.

In a statement, Tetra Pak representative Chris Huntley said the company was disappointed with the decision but had decided to accept it and did not intend to appeal. Huntley said that the company had adjusted its business practices since China introduced its Antimonopoly Law in 2008, and was convinced that the compliance had been successful.

“Unfortunately, the SAIC investigation has concluded that not to be the case in relation to a few defined areas of activity. We will take action as necessary to ensure compliance with the legislation,” Huntley said.

The SAIC, along with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom), is one of three enforcement bodies of the now 8-year-old Antimonopoly Law. The SAIC is in charge of nonprice-related monopolistic behaviors, with the NDRC overseeing price collusion matters. Mofcom reviews and approves domestic and global mergers.

The investigation into Tetra Pak started in 2013 as the Chinese regulators visibly ramped up on antitrust enforcement actions. Around the same time, the NDRC started its own probe into San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.’s patent royalties practice in China. That investigation eventually resulted in a record $975 million fine on Qualcomm.

Contact the reporter at azhang@alm.com.

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce has fined Swedish packaging giant Tetra Pak International S.A. $97 million for abusing market dominance.

The fine, the largest ever imposed by the SAIC for antitrust violations, ended a three-year-and-a-half probe into Tetra Pak’s China operations, including bundle sales and loyalty discounts.

In an announcement posted Wednesday on the SAIC ‘s website, the nation’s top business regulator said that between 2009 and 2013, Tetra Pak abused its market dominance in the liquid foods packing equipment and technology markets by bundle selling paper materials with equipment and technology, and by restraining suppliers from selling to competitors with a loyalty discounts program.

In a statement, Tetra Pak representative Chris Huntley said the company was disappointed with the decision but had decided to accept it and did not intend to appeal. Huntley said that the company had adjusted its business practices since China introduced its Antimonopoly Law in 2008, and was convinced that the compliance had been successful.

“Unfortunately, the SAIC investigation has concluded that not to be the case in relation to a few defined areas of activity. We will take action as necessary to ensure compliance with the legislation,” Huntley said.

The SAIC , along with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom), is one of three enforcement bodies of the now 8-year-old Antimonopoly Law. The SAIC is in charge of nonprice-related monopolistic behaviors, with the NDRC overseeing price collusion matters. Mofcom reviews and approves domestic and global mergers.

The investigation into Tetra Pak started in 2013 as the Chinese regulators visibly ramped up on antitrust enforcement actions. Around the same time, the NDRC started its own probe into San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. ‘s patent royalties practice in China. That investigation eventually resulted in a record $975 million fine on Qualcomm.

Contact the reporter at azhang@alm.com.