The Chinese government agency National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has imposed a fine of around CNY110m ($18m) on 22 insurance firms over price monopoly.
The authorities said that the 22 insurers have colluded to fix fees, while one company escaped from fine, as it informed authorities about the issue and provided evidence, reported AFP.
Through meetings conducted by industry group Zhejiang Insurance Association, all the firms negotiated and agreed on unified commissions from auto insurance premiums, said NDRC.
Some of the leading Chinese insurance firms are involved in the issue, which include branches of China Life and Ping An.
NDRC has imposed fine of CNY500,000 on Zhejiang Insurance, which played a key role in the price monopoly.
NDRC anti-monopoly bureau head Xu Kunlin was quoted by AFP as saying that some of the monopoly investigations involve overseas multi-nationals, but that does not mean that the agency is targeting them.
"We will investigate domestic or foreign companies if they are in alleged violation of China’s anti-trust law without any discrimination," Kunlin added.
In late August, authorities have imposed fine on 10 Japanese auto companies with around $200m for price fixing.
Image: NDRC has imposed fine on insurance firms for price monopoly. Photo: courtesy of adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.