The National Development and Reform Commission on Tuesday announced new rules designed to prevent price fixing, the Wall Street Journal reported. The rules, which come into effect on February 1, add further detail to the Antimonopoly Law introduced in 2008, brining Chinese competition and pricing practices closer to international standards. But they also strengthen the channels through which Beijing can rein in price growth at a time when inflationary pressure is a cause for concern. Under the new rules, price collusion between competing firms is prohibited, as are agreements between business partners on minimum resale prices. Companies with dominant market positions – 50% or above for one firm or over 66% shared between two firms – are barred from charging unfairly high prices for their goods and paying unfairly low prices to their suppliers. Other outlawed practices include pricing goods below output cost, offering rebates to force out competitors and charging different prices to similar customers. In addition, government officials are not allowed to use their administrative powers to restrict price competition.