On 8 October 2021, the State Administration for Market Supervision (SAMR) announced an administrative penalty imposed on Meituan monopolistic behaviour.
In reaching the decision, the SAMR considered the following laws and circumstances:
- Articles 47 of the AML in relation to abuse of a dominant market position and Article 49 which provides that fine shall based on the nature, extent and duration of the violations.
- Before the start of the investigation, Meituan took the initiative to admit their monopolistic behaviour and confess the facts about their illegal conducts;
- Meituan aided the investigation by providing crucial evidence previously not known to the law enforcement;
- Meituan conducted a comprehensive self-examination and rectification;
- Meituan took initiative in refunding the exclusive cooperation deposit to merchants.
SAMR decided to order Meituan to stop the illegal acts and imposed a fine of 3% of its 2020 sales volume of CNY$114.748 billion in China, totaling to a fine of CNY$3.442 billion. The decision also ordered Meituan to refund the exclusive cooperation deposit of CNY$1.289 billion to merchants.
In response to the decision, Meituan stated that it will conduct a comprehensive and in-depth self-examination and rectification to eliminate monopolistic behaviour. Later, Ele.me (a competitor, also an online food delivery service platform which is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group) announced that it will not engage in monopolistic behaviour and will operate strictly to comply with the law.