The amount of the penalty imposed by Meituan was 3% of its annual revenue – 1% lower than the market expected.
On October 8, the State Administration of Market Supervision made a decision on Meituan's punishment and ordered the firm to stop illegal acts and refund the full amount of the exclusive cooperation deposit of CNY 1.28 billion. It also imposed a fine of 3% of its 2020 domestic sales in China, amounting to CNY 3.44 billion.
The State Administration of Market Regulation announced that Meituan's behavior constituted the abuse of market-dominant position, which is prohibited by Item (4) of Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Anti-monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China, "restricting the counterparty of the transaction to conduct transactions with it without justifiable reasons."
In addition to fines, Meituan was also issued an 'Administrative Guidance Letter' that requires comprehensive rectification and submission of a self-examination compliance report to the State Administration for Market Regulation over three consecutive years.
Meituan responded publicly by saying: “We will sincerely accept, resolutely implement, in accordance with the "Administrative Punishment Decision" and the "administrative guidance" comprehensive in-depth self-examination and rectification, to eliminate the "two options." Meituan will take this as a warning, operate in accordance with laws and regulations, consciously maintain fair competition order, earnestly fulfill social responsibility, better obey and serve the overall situation of economic and social development, and strive to contribute more to the high-quality development of the national economy.”
Eleme and Meituan have been competing with each other for many years and the two sides have been punished several times. On April 13, the General Administration of Market Supervision with the Central Network Information Office and the General Administration of Taxation, held an administrative guidance meeting on Internet platform enterprises, requiring 34 enterprises, such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, JD.com, Meituan etc. to conduct a comprehensive self-examination and thorough rectification and reform of forcing businesses to 'choose one of the two.'
Experts in related fields said that this anti-monopoly punishment episode may be able to end the takeaway choas of chronic 'choose one of the two' competition facing consumers. In addition, the punishment also provides clear guidance for other Internet platform enterprises: regarding the historical problems accumulated before, they should take the initiative and adjust according to the principles of standardization, compliance and health.