Mercedes’ China office raided by antitrust regulators

August 5, 2014, 3:22 PM UTC
Daimler Announces Financial Results For 2013
STUTTGART, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: General view of the company's financial performance in 2013 during the Daimler AG, annual press conference on February 6, 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany.. Daimler's Mercedes-Benz unit raised sales in 2013 to reclaim ground lost to rival BMW in recent years. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)
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Chinese authorities have continued their crackdown on foreign firms. Their latest target? Mercedes-Benz.

Daimler, the parent of the luxury German car brand, said it is assisting in the investigation, although the automaker declined to share details on which government department launched the inquiry.

Local reports said that antitrust authorities raided the Mercedes Shanghai office on Monday.

Chinese media said the target of the raid was the Shanghai offices of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co., a joint venture with Chinese company BAIC Motor.

Chinese government officials have launched various probes in recent weeks, exploring both antitrust violations of companies such as Microsoft (MSFT) as well as the pricing policies of foreign luxury automakers.

Officials are investigating automakers amid concerns that they are overcharging customers and controlling the supply of auto parts in order to dominate the Chinese market and earn exorbitant profits.

Mercedes, which is China’s third most popular luxury car by market share, had reduced its prices by 15% for spare parts two days earlier to appease officials. Volkswagen and Tata Motors (TATA) made similar price cuts for certain brands a week earlier.