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Chinese court rules against J&J in monopoly suit

Friday - 8/2/2013, 2:18am  ET

BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese court has ordered American medical products supplier Johnson & Johnson to pay damages to a former distributor in a case brought under the country's anti-monopoly law.

The ruling by a Shanghai court expands use of the 5-year-old anti-monopoly law and comes amid a flurry of investigations of possible price-fixing and other misconduct by global companies.

The court ruled Johnson & Johnson hurt its distributor by setting minimum retail prices for surgical sutures and causing the Chinese company to lose some potential sales. The court said Johnson & Johnson was guilty of a "vertical monopoly" and awarded damages of 530,00 yuan ($85,000).

Phone calls to Johnson & Johnson's offices in Beijing and Shanghai were not answered.

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