China fines baby formula companies
China has fined six producers of baby formula a record 670 million yuan for price-fixing, the official Xinhua news agency says.

The six companies involved were Mead Johnson and Abbot from the U.S., Biostime, which is listed in Hong Kong, Dumex, a subsidiary of France's Danone, Friesland from the Netherlands and New Zealand giant Fonterra.

Mead Johnson said it had been handed a penalty of 204 million yuan.

Biostime said it had been given a 163 million yuan fine.

Fonterra was fined 4.5 million yuan.

"The investigation leaves us with a much clearer understanding of expectations around implementing pricing policies which is useful as we progress our future business plans," Fonterra's president for Greater China and India, Kelvin Wickham, said in a statement.

According to Xinhua news agency, three companies - Wyeth, which is owned by Swiss giant Nestle, Japan's Meiji, and Chinese firm Beingmate - had been exempted from punishment.

The fines, announced by China's National Development and Reform Commission, coincide with a separate pricing investigation into the pharmaceutical industry.

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