On 10 February 2022, the State Administration for Market Supervision (SAMR) issued an administrative penalty decision in response to an abuse of dominance by Fengyang County Yimin Water Supply Co, Ltd. The case was initiated by the Anhui Administration for Market Regulation on 19 January 2021 and the decision was made on 17 January 2022.
An investigation revealed that Yimin had abused its dominance in the public water supply services market by restricting transactions and imposing unreasonable trading conditions in the towns of Fucheng, Linhuai and Banqiao (west of the Fengning Industrial Park) and the Mentai Economic Development Zone.
When providing its services, Yimin designated certain companies or suppliers and required the relevant parties to purchase water meters and secondary water supply equipment only from them, which excluded other enterprises in the same market.
Further, Yimin imposed unreasonable trading conditions by collecting deposits from temporary water users and collecting deposits from real estate developers. Its actions were found to have damaged fair competition in the market and the rights and interests of transaction counterparties. Accordingly, the SAMR:
- ordered Yimin to discontinue its illicit conduct;
- asked the firm to refund deposits of 781,700 yuan (approximately $123,000); and
- imposed a total penalty of 1,769,118.74 yuan (approximately $279,000) (including illegal gains and a fine worth 4% of its 2020 revenue).
For further information on this topic please contact Hao Zhan or Ying Song at AnJie Law Firm by telephone (+86 10 8567 5988) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The AnJie Law Firm website can be accessed at www.anjielaw.com.