Toyota investigated by China regulator

<p>Toyota is facing an investigation by Chinese authorities over alleged monopoly actions.</p>

Toyota has revealed that Chinese regulators were looking into its Lexus brand over alleged monopoly actions.

A company spokesman said the company was "co-operating fully with the queries from the authorities on Lexus".

Although regulators have not yet revealed the exact reason for their concerns, there have been reports in China of customers complaining about the high prices of imported vehicles and spare parts, the BBC reports.

The investigations are being led by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which earlier this week raided a Mercedes-Benz office in Shanghai, with Xinhua news agency reporting that "inspectors are still collecting evidence and investigating whether Mercedes-Benz has used monopolistic tactics". Audi and Chrysler are also under scrutiny.

Multiple investigations

In July, China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce said it was looking into alleged monopoly actions by Microsoft. The company has not yet been accused of any specific wrongdoing and said it was working with officials. 

China's anti-trust regulator is also investigating Qualcomm, one of the world's biggest mobile chipmakers, over an alleged monopoly power in setting its licensing fees.

These multiples investigations are leading many to allege that China is using anti-trust probes to protect domestic firms.

"It has become increasingly clear that the Chinese government has seized on using the [anti-monopoly] law to promote Chinese producer welfare, and to advance industrial policies that nurture domestic enterprises," US Chamber of Commerce said earlier this year.

Toyota Motor Corp shares were stable at $116.69 today (August 8th) at 09:37 ET in New York. 

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