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China starts investigation into Tetra Pak 'dominance': state media

SHANGHAI/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - China is investigating Swedish packaging giant Tetra Pak over the possible "misuse of its market dominance", state media reported on Friday, as authorities ramp up scrutiny of foreign firms in the world's No. 2 economy.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has launched the nationwide investigation, ChinaNews.com reported on its website citing unidentified sources.

SAIC officials in China could not be reached for comment.

Tetra Pak said on Friday that SAIC had asked the company for information concerning its business in China a few weeks ago, but did not elaborate.

"We will obviously continue to cooperate with them," Tetra Pak spokesman Christopher Huntley said.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planning agency, is already investigating six milk-powder producers including Nestle and Danone , for possible price-fixing and anti-competitive behavior.

Both Nestle and Danone have responded by saying they would cut prices.

The NDRC is also investigating costs and prices charged by drugmakers, including units of GlaxoSmithKline and Merck .

Tetra Pack opened for business in China in 1972 and its clients include China's biggest milk and beverage producers including China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd <2319.HK>, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Co <600887.SS> and Uni-president China Holdings Ltd <0220.HK>.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Kazunori Takada; Additional reporting by Mia Shanley in Stockholm; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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