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UPDATE 1-China fines Ford's Changan venture $24 mln for violating anti-monopoly law

anti-monopoly law@

* Regulator: Ford Changan JV set minimum resale price in Chongqing

* Says JV's action deprived dealers of autonomy

* Changan Auto's shares fall by over 5 pct (Updates with regulator's quote, background on Ford's China operations)

SHANGHAI, June 5 (Reuters) - China's market regulator said on Wednesday it has fined Ford Motor Co's joint venture with Changan Automobile Group 162.8 million yuan ($23.55 million) for violating anti-monopoly law.

The State Administration for Market Regulation said on its website the joint venture, Changan Ford, had set a minimum resale price for its cars in the Chinese municipality of Chongqing since 2013, in breach of the law.

The joint venture did not provide evidence that this complied with the country's anti-monopoly law during the investigation, it said.

"Ford Changan's actions deprived downstream dealers of their pricing autonomy, excluded and restricted competition within the brand, as well as damaged fair competition in the market and consumer's legal interests," it said.

The fine is equivalent to 4% of the joint venture's sales in Chongqing last year, it added.

Ford and Changan did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Shares in Changan Auto fell by over 5 percent after the news on Wednesday morning.

The regulator's move comes as Ford has been struggling to revive sales in China - the second biggest market globally for the Dearborn, Michigan automaker - where its business began slumping in late 2017.

Changan's president told Reuters in April that it expects sales at its Ford joint venture to rebound at the end of this year. ($1 = 6.9126 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Brenda Goh and Yilei Sun; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Muralikumar Anantharaman)