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CCI imposes Rs 6,700-crore fine on 10 cement firms for cartelisation

CCI

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday imposed penalty of over Rs 6,700 crore on 10 cement companies including ACC, Lafarge, Ultratech, Jayprakash Associates, Binani and their trade association the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) on charges of cartelisation in the sector.

According to media reports, the information in the case was filed by the Builders Association of India against the cement firms and the CMA, alleging that they flouted the provisions of the Act.

“While holding the cement companies and the CMA in contravention of the Act, it was noted by CCI that the cement companies used the platform provided by CMA and shared details relating to prices, capacity utilisation, production and dispatch and thereby restricted production and supplies in the market,” said a Finance Ministry statement.

The CCI also found the cement companies to be acting in concert in fixing prices. “While imposing penalties, the Commission noted the action of the cement companies and CMA as being not only detrimental to the interests of consumers but also as detrimental to the whole economy, as cement is a critical input in construction and infrastructure industry — and thus vital for the economic development of the country”.
The commission imposed a penalty of Rs 1147.5 croreon ACC, Rs 1163.9 croreon ACL, Rs 167.3 crore (Binani), Rs. 274 crore (Century), Rs 187.5 crore (India Cements), Rs 128.5 crore (JK Cements), Rs. 490 crore (Lafarge), Rs. 258.6 crore(Ramco), Rs 1175.5 crore (UltraTech) and Rs 1323.6 croreon Jaiprakash Associates. In addition, a penalty of Rs 73 lakh was imposed on CMA.

In a separate order, the fair play regulator also imposed a penalty of Rs 397.5 crore on Shree Cement.

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The cement companies and CMA have been directed to cease and desist from indulging in any activity relating to agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement.

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