Competition panel fine over companies 6,000 cr for cartelisation

    The has found cement manufacturers in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002, which deals with anti-competitive agreements, including cartels.

    The Commission has imposed penalty on 11 cement manufacturers named in the information at 0.5 times their profit for 2009-10 and 2010-11. The penalty amount so worked out amounts to over Rs 6,000 crore.

    The Commission has also imposed penalty on the Cement Manufacturers Association.

    The cement manufacturers on whom the penalty has been imposed are ACC, Ambuja Cements Ltd, UltraTech Cements, Grasim Cements now merged with UltraTech Cements, JK Cements, India Cements, Madras Cements, Century Cements, Binani Cements, Lafarge India and Jaypee Cements.

    While imposing penalty, the Commission has considered the parallel and coordinated behaviour of cement companies on price, dispatch and supplies in the market. The Commission has found that the cement companies have not utilised the available capacity so as to reduce supplies and raise prices in times of higher demand.

    The Commission has also observed that the act of these cement companies in limiting and controlling supplies in the market and determining prices through an anti-competitive agreement is not only detrimental to the cause of the consumers but also to the whole economy since cement is a crucial input in construction and infrastructure industry vital for economic development of the country.

    The CMA has been asked to disengage and disassociate itself from collecting wholesale and retail prices through the member cement companies and also from circulating the details on production and dispatches of cement companies to its members.

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