Chinese Regulator’s Medtronic Price-Fixing Probe Detains 40 Officers for Six Hours



(Yicai Global) Dec. 9 -- China's price regulator imposed a CNY118.5 million (USD17.2 million) fine on medical devices maker Medtronic Shanghai Management Co. for price fixing following an investigation.

China’s state broadcaster released further details of the investigation, saying that over 40 investigating officers were detained in Medtronic’s Chinese headquarters for six hours.

The investigation on Medtronic did not run smoothly, reported China Central Television Dec. 8, quoting Xu Xinyu, the director of the Bureau of Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly. After the officers entered Metronic’s Chinese headquarters, people at the company did not cooperate with the investigation from 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

The company refused to cooperate in the investigation until law enforcement officers communicated more than 10 times with Medtronic the management of and its US headquarters.

The penalty for price fixing equals 4 percent of Medtronic’s medical products' sales last year.

Through distributor agreements, e-mail notifications, talks and other means, the unit of Dublin-based Medtronic [NYSE:MDT] and its trading partners reached monopoly agreements to limit the resale prices and bid prices of the firm’s medical devices, as well as the bottom-line prices charged to hospitals for the products since 2014, the National Development and Reform Commission said on its website.

Medrontic implemented a price monopoly agreement by formulating and issuing a product price list, carrying out internal examinations, forcing retailers to withdraw lower bids, and other measures, the NDRC said.