Tetra Pak under investigation in China for ‘possible abuse of market dominance’


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Chinese schools children with Tetra Pak cartons.
Chinese schools children with Tetra Pak cartons.
Tetra Pak is under investigation in China over suspected “abuse of market dominance” – making it the latest in a growing line of Western firms to come under scrutiny from competition authorities in the country.

In a speech published on its website, the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) revealed that the Swiss processing and packaging giant is under investigation in China as part of nationwide efforts to “safeguard the socialist market economic order.”

The case against Tetra Pak “for possible abuse of market dominance”​ has been launched under efforts to “enhance antitrust law enforcement,” ​according to the speech by SAIC chief Zhang Mao. 

This follows the launch of a probe into the pricing practices employed by a number of Western infant formula manufacturers by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last week.

“Cooperate” with SAIC

In a statement sent to DairyReporter.com, Tetra Pak spokesperson, Christopher Huntley, confirmed that the company is under investigation by SAIC, but remained tight-lipped about the exact details of the probe. 

“There is very little we can say on this matter at the moment,” ​said Huntley.

“We can confirm that the Chinese State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has asked the company to provide them with information related to our business in China.”

“At this stage, however, we have no further information regarding their enquiries, or any formal investigation.”

“We will, of course, continue to cooperate with SAIC going forward,”​ he added.

Scrutiny of foreign firms

Tetra Pak is the latest foreign firm to be targeted by competition authorities in China.

Last week, reports emerged that several infant formula manufacturers were being investigated by the NDRC. According to the reports, the probe stemmed from concerns about high pricing and suspected anti-monopoly law violations by firms including Danone-owned Dumex, Nestlé-owned Wyeth Nutrition, FrieslandCampina, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Abbott Laboratories.

In response to the investigation, Wyeth Nutrition, Danone Dumex and FrieslandCampina have unveiled plans to reduce the prices of their infant formula products in China.

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