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Moutai, Wuliangye hit with heavy fines: report | Updated: 2013-03-14 20:46

China's biggest liquor makers, Kweichew Moutai and Wuliangye, have been ordered to pay the largest-ever fines in China for price fixing.

The companies must pay a combined 449 million yuan ($71.4 million) by Monday, Xinhua News Agency reported.

In late February, Guizhou-based Moutai was hit with a fine of 247 million yuan and Sichuan's Wuliangye with 202 million yuan.

Sales of Moutai were worth 35.2 billion yuan last year, which means the fine accounts for just 0.7 percent of its sales in 2012.

China National Radio reported the two distillers had violated anti-trust laws by financially penalizing third-party distributors who sold their products at prices lower than those set by the company.

In December, authorities launched a frugality campaign and banned alcohol from military events, which may have an impact on liquor sales this year.

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