Chinese regulators fined Alibaba a record $2.8bn on anti-monopolistic practices. As per regulators, Alibaba restricted competition by not allowing sellers use other platforms. Alibaba accepted the fine and said it was unaware of any other probes by the regulator. Some note that the fine was less harsh than feared and amounts to 4% of 2019’s domestic revenues, less than the maximum 10% allowed by Chinese law. The fine is ~3x the $975mn that Qualcomm paid in 2015 to resolve its antitrust dispute then. “This penalty (on Alibaba) will be viewed as a closure to the anti-monopoly case for now by the market… It’s indeed the highest profile anti-monopoly case in China. The market has been anticipating some sort of penalty for some time… but people need to pay attention to the measures beyond the anti-monopoly investigation”, Hong Hao, head of research at BOCOM HK said. Analysts also say that with the fine now out of the way, uncertainty on Alibaba has reduced.
Alibaba’s dollar bonds were stable – its 4.4% 2057s were at 116, yielding 3.6% and its 2.125% 2031s were at 96.1, yielding 2.6%.
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