Doubts about Tetra Pak China's monopoly, the world

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Tetra Pak China, the world's largest flexible packaging supplier, is the world's largest flexible packaging supplier, controlling 75% of the global flexible packaging market share. In China, Tetra Pak controls 95% of the sterile paper packaging market, accounting for an absolute monopoly. Domestic dairy giants such as Yili, Guangming and Sanyuan all use Tetra Pak's sterile filling production lines and corresponding packaging materials. "

Tetra Pak has the above special description in the anti monopoly division of the Fair Trade Bureau of the State Administration for Industry and commerce, which has been investigating the performance and Countermeasures of transnational corporations in China to restrict competition for one year

sang Lin, director of the antitrust division of the Fair Trade Bureau of the State Administration for Industry and commerce, told that one of the bases for the definition of Tetra Pak's market position in the survey was the special research report received by the Institute of economic law of Peking University at the end of last year - "vigilance against restrictive competition practices of multinational companies in China." the report takes Tetra Pak as a case. " Sang Lin said that it was this report that made the antitrust division pay attention to Tetra Pak

at this time, Tetra Pak, who had been silent for a long time, stood up to defend himself

can it constitute an independent market

"there is absolutely no basis for saying that we have monopoly." Wu chongkuan, chief commercial officer of Tetra Pak China, opened with a "double" emphasis

this is also Tetra Pak's beginning to face the media about the "monopoly incident" - since last October, domestic packaging enterprises represented by Shandong Quanlin Packaging Co., Ltd. have strongly questioned Tetra Pak that it has implemented monopoly behaviors such as restricting competition, which has become a major focus of attention in the industry

"Tetra Pak is the victim of this incident, and Quanlin's practice puts us in a dilemma." Wu chongkuan poured out Tetra Pak's "bitter water", "as a well-known large company, it is not appropriate for us to fight back or not to fight back against Quanlin."

then, Zhou Shuanghu, manager of Tetra Pak China business development department, took out a large paper bag from behind and poured a pile of different shapes and types of packaging on the table, "these more than 20 kinds of packaging are only part of dairy packaging, and our Tetra Pak bricks and Tetra Pak pillows are just two of many packaging."

in fact, Tetra Pak believes that it is not in a monopoly at all, "our products do not constitute a market by themselves, Tetra Pak is just a market leader in the field of sterile paper packaging."

Zhou Shuanghu's reason is that the key to determining whether to constitute a market is the substitutability of products (this can be considered a market only when the substitutability is close to zero), while Tetra Pak's products "can be completely replaced", such as sterile plastic packaging in the field of sterile packaging, "Strictly speaking, we don't think aseptic packaging is a market - aseptic packaging belongs to the category of normal temperature market, and many normal temperature packaging can now be replaced by each other."

according to a "market segmentation map of China's liquid dairy packaging market in 2002" provided by Tetra Pak, sterile paper packaging accounts for 26% of the market share - if the argument that "sterile paper packaging is not an independent market" is established, it is obviously impossible to accuse Tetra Pak of "monopoly"

a reality is that in the field of sterile paper packaging, all domestic packaging materials enterprises account for only 2% of the total. Therefore, "whether sterile paper packaging constitutes a market" has become the primary core issue of the debate between the two sides

"sterile paper packaging is definitely a market." Hong Gang, vice chairman of Quanlin company, pointed out: "Paper aseptic packaging requires special equipment? And the investment is high. The operation of these equipment also requires expensive and complex maintenance service system, and the entry and exit barriers of the industry are very high. The competition between different packaging forms only occurs when customers make investment choices. Once customers invest heavily in this field, they will be locked in a single form of packaging consumables throughout the life of the equipment". To support his view, Hong Gang also cited the example of Tetra Pak's EU monopoly case many years ago, "This case adopts the analysis method of supply substitution, and believes that the production equipment of sterile cartons and non sterile cartons for liquid food is specialized. Due to the market entry barriers in finance and technology, it is difficult for enterprises producing beverage containers (such as plastic and glass) made of other packaging materials to turn to Tetra Pak's sterile carton containers. Therefore, from the perspective of supply, packaging containers made of other materials are irreplaceable."

"in fact, the key is the filling machine." Luo Chaowei, the legal representative of Guangzhou Lihui packaging company, stressed, "in China, Tetra Pak currently has nearly 1000 filling machine production lines, and the price of a production line is tens of millions. Generally, in order to enhance Tetra Pak's use of its own equipment to occupy a large amount of customers' funds, it is difficult for other people's production lines to enter this customer."

Tetra Pak believes that customers can choose the equipment provided by other companies. "What's more, if customers feel that we have restricted them in the past, why do they still come to us when buying new equipment?" Zhou Shuanghu asked in reply

but another reality is that manufacturing sterile packaging machines requires complex technology. At present, no domestic packaging material enterprise has the ability to produce this equipment - that is, domestic enterprises such as Quanlin are only selling packaging materials at present. "The relationship between packaging materials and sterile packaging machines is just as film is to cameras." Hong Gang made an example, "the sterile packaging machine is put into use once and used for a long time. Although the manufacturer can continue to benefit from daily maintenance services after the sterile packaging machine is sold, by contrast, packaging materials, as lifelong consumables of the sterile packaging machine, have long-term and stable profit sources."

"our report is only a preliminary investigation." Sang Lin stressed, "we now believe that Tetra Pak's sterile paper packaging field is an independent market, in which Tetra Pak is in a monopoly state. It's hard to say whether Tetra Pak has implemented monopoly behaviors such as restricting competition."

therefore, whether Tetra Pak has used its technology and market advantages in aseptic filling machines to implement monopoly in its business activities has become the key to the problem

is monopolistic behavior implemented

"Tetra Pak relies on its monopoly position in sterile packaging machines and has implemented improper restrictive business strategies on packaging consumables." Hong Gang made a series of specific allegations

for example, Hong Gang pointed out that Tetra Pak is a strategic key customer? Is the price absolutely lower than the cost in the sales of sterile packaging machines? Especially in the bidding of packaging equipment?, Sometimes even free equipment? But the condition is to purchase a specified amount of packaging consumables in the next few years. "The effect of this behavior is' killing two birds with one stone '. On the one hand, it excludes potential competitors in the sterile packaging machine market through predatory pricing, on the other hand, it locks in customers' long-term procurement of packaging consumables, and excludes competition from the first day."

"in addition, Tetra Pak has at least some exclusive transaction terms in some contracts that 'customers are not allowed to purchase third-party packaging materials in the next few years'." Hong Gang also accused, "Once Tetra Pak finds that its sterile packaging machine customers use or attempt to use the packaging consumables of its competitors, it often threatens to stop providing equipment repair parts and maintenance services to the customers, or creates the suspense of similar content to make the customers panic, so it is easy not to dare to use the packaging consumables of other manufacturers. Even if Tetra Pak has to provide the above parts and services due to its contractual obligations, Tetra Pak is difficult to guarantee the maintenance services The timeliness of services is difficult for customers. "

Hong Gang even believed that Tetra Pak was suspected of forming a boycott alliance with suppliers of major spare parts, parts and packaging consumables, and refused to provide key spare parts, parts and raw materials to sterile packaging machines and packaging consumables manufacturers outside Tetra Pak. "We want to import the accessories of the filling machine, but now we are blocked greatly. Foreign suppliers are not willing to sell them to me. Is this normal?"

in fact, this is also the biggest concern at present - at present, the raw materials of domestic sterile paper packaging are completely imported. "Upstream closure is a problem that we can't survive at all. Many spare parts and base paper suppliers are unwilling to supply our goods and don't sell them to us for money. For example, many base paper suppliers require us to be qualified, that is, we must ensure that the base paper I buy for packaging is used for our own equipment." Luo Chaowei seemed helpless, "the price we paid for this is to increase the procurement cost, which is 20% to 30% higher than the expected cost."

Quanlin company said that the "foreign trade law" revised by the National People's Congress of China will come into force on July 1st, 2004. There will be heavy fines for unreasonable refusal of supply, and it will come to the end when the market competitiveness will be further improved

any of the above allegations is very serious for Tetra Pak. In this regard, Tetra Pak seems to "lift the weight like a light one": "these allegations must have evidence, but now Quanlin has not produced any evidence, which are groundless allegations. Therefore, it is not worth arguing at all, and the speculation is untenable." Tetra Pak also said that Hong Gang, as a former employee who had worked in Tetra Pak for 10 years, would have brought it out if there was evidence

Zhou Shuanghu repeatedly stressed that Tetra Pak did not bundle packaging materials. "Now they also sell a lot of packaging materials. If Tetra Pak bundles its customers, where are their packaging materials sold?" Zhou Shuanghu believed that Tetra Pak did not need to do so at all, "Customers tend to choose us because we can provide things that other competitors cannot provide.

Wu chongkuan believes that Tetra Pak can now become a preferred partner for customers, which largely depends on the competitiveness brought by the unique marketing model of 15.20 Tetra Pak, "Tetra Pak is not a simple supplier of equipment and materials. We emphasize serving an industrial chain and provide customers with very comprehensive integrated solutions - in addition to providing customers with processing equipment, packaging equipment and packaging materials, after-sales spare parts services and other things that general enterprises can do, we also help customers develop markets, educate consumers, conduct marketing, develop new products, etc."

according to the introduction, Tetra Pak has been using the "key customer management system" marketing model in the Chinese market, that is, focusing on customer management, Tetra Pak's technical equipment experts, packaging designers, market service personnel and even financial managers will keep close contact with customers and jointly go deep into the production and market front line. Actively invest in the whole process of equipment introduction, product development, technical training, market information, marketing system construction and new product launch to help local customers grow. "It is this concept that makes us quickly integrate into local enterprises, grow together with them, and achieve a win-win situation."

for example, the rapid rise of Yili and Mengniu, to a large extent, Tetra Pak is "indispensable". Lee hesson, President of Tetra Pak China, revealed that 70% of Tetra Pak China's business is in the dairy industry. Yili company alone, as of October 31, 2003, its Tetra Pak packaging has set a record

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