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7 truck makers fined for rigging prices


SEJONG, July 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Monday that it has decided to fine seven truck manufacturers a combined 116 billion won (US$104.5 million) for colluding to fix prices.

The companies include Hyundai Motor and Scania Korea, which were ordered to pay 71.7 billion won and 17.6 billion won, respectively, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC). Volvo Group Korea was also fined 17 billion won.

Those companies were accused of secretly holding meetings every two to three months and sharing business information on pricing policies, inventories and timetables for launching new products from 2002 to 2011 in order to avoid competition.

The FTC added that they also made decisions on when and by how much they would raise the prices of their products based on information they shared through the covert meetings.

The price rigging efforts apparently resulted in a steady hike in prices of large-sized commercial trucks, including dump trucks and tractors, regardless of supply and demand or changes in currency exchange rates during the cited period, the watchdog said.

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