Express delivery companies can “collude” with price increases, which violates the law.

Once an operator or several operators form a dominant position in a certain field, they are easy to form monopoly and manipulate prices, thus damaging the interests of consumers and destroying the normal market competition order. Therefore, monopoly is a cancer of the market economic order. Recently, a number of express delivery companies have consistently raised service prices, and the reasons are generally the same. This has to cause people to worry about joint monopoly.

From May 8, Shentong, Baishi, Yuantong, Zhongtong and Yunda Express announced the price adjustment on the official website, the reasons are “due to the restoration of highways”. On the 11th, Shentong, Baishi and Yunda have removed the relevant announcements, and Yuantong and Zhongtong have updated the announcements. There is no relevant statement of “Highway recovery charges” in the price adjustment reasons.

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The “tacit” actions of many express delivery companies can’t help but remind people of the “monopoly agreement” of article 13th of the anti-monopoly law “. The first paragraph of Article 13th stipulates that operators with competitive relations are prohibited from reaching monopoly agreements including fixing or changing commodity prices.

At the same time, according to the Interim Provisions on prohibition of monopoly agreements, monopoly agreements refer to agreements, decisions or other cooperative acts that exclude and restrict competition. The agreement or decision may be in writing, oral, etc. Other cooperative behaviors refer to the behaviors that are coordinated and consistent in essence although operators have not explicitly concluded agreements or decisions. That is to say, the operators with competitive relationship may be suspected of reaching a monopoly agreement and be regulated by the anti-monopoly law.

The goal of express delivery enterprises this time is very consistent, that is, to raise prices. The reasons are generally the same, and there are highway recovery charges. After being questioned by public opinion, the actions are quite consistent, the reason for the resumption of charges on expressways has been revoked. These situations remind people of the two words mentioned above: The heart is connected and the same.

It is not the first time that the price increase of express delivery companies has caused social concern. On the eve of the “Double Eleven” in 2017, many express delivery companies announced price increases for the same reason: “affected by various factors such as increased transportation and labor costs and increased raw material prices”. On last November, Zhejiang provincial Market Supervision and Administration Bureau held a warning Meeting on suspected monopoly behavior in express delivery industry, informing some express delivery enterprises of suspected monopoly violations such as coordinated price increases and limited transactions, he also warned relevant enterprises that “price increases can be made, but collusion cannot be made”. Relevant enterprises have stated that they will resolutely not conclude monopoly agreements and will never infringe on consumer rights. This shows that the regulatory authorities have noticed the possible collusion monopoly behavior of express delivery enterprises.

This time, too, express delivery companies can decide whether to accept the price increase according to factors such as cost, but if many companies collude with the price increase, they will be punished if they violate relevant laws.

For the joint control of prices by advantageous enterprises, China has also issued many large bills, including domestic enterprises and overseas enterprises. For example, on August 2013, the National Development and Reform Commission announced that it would issue a sky-high fine of 0.67 billion yuan for the price monopoly of six milk powder enterprises such as Guangzhou heshengyuan, this was also the biggest ticket issued by the anti-monopoly department after the implementation of the anti-monopoly law at that time. On February 2013, Guizhou Provincial Price Bureau and Sichuan Provincial Development and Reform Commission imposed fines of 0.247 billion yuan and 0.202 billion yuan respectively on Maotai and Wuliangye company for price monopoly.

At the end of 2012, South Korea samsung LG, Taiwan, China Qimei, Youda and other six large international LCD panel manufacturers were imposed an economic sanction of 0.353 billion yuan by China for price monopoly. The reason is that from 2001 to 2006, the above six enterprises took advantage of their dominant position and conspired to manipulate the price of LCD panels, implementing price monopoly in mainland China, involving a total sales volume of 5.1462 million LCD panels, illegal income of 0.208 billion yuan. This is the first time that China has issued a price ticket to an overseas enterprise.

All these should sound the alarm bell for express delivery enterprises that “have the same heart and mind.

(The author is a first financial commentator)

the original title: One quick comment express delivery companies can raise prices, “collusion” violates the law

author: Li Zhang


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