UPDATE 1-Mead Johnson settles with China over baby formula probe
Aug 6 (Reuters) - Mead Johnson Nutrition Co on Tuesday said it will pay a penalty of about $33 million related to a probe by China into anti-competitive behavior by baby formula makers.
The maker of Enfamil formula said the payment will reduce its full-year earnings by about 12 cents per share. But it reiterated its 2013 earnings forecast for profit, excluding one-time items, of $3.22 to $3.30 per share.
Mead Johnson, along with Danone, Nestle, Abbott Laboratories and Hong Kong-listed Biostime International Holdings said in recent weeks that they were being investigated by China's National Development and Reform Commission, an economic planning agency, for possible antitrust violations including price-fixing.
As a result, Mead Johnson and others cut prices on their baby formulas.
Foreign infant formula is highly coveted in China since public trust was damaged by a 2008 tainted infant formula scandal that left at least six children dead. Foreign brands now account for about half of total sales.