By Greg Hammond, J.D.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined 11 cement companies and the Cement Manufacturers Association more than Rs 6714 crore ($1 billion) for conspiring and fixing cement prices and limiting and controlling production and supply in the cement market.
CCI found that the cement companies used the Cement Manufacturers Association to share details concerning prices, capacity utilization, production, and dispatch to restrict production and supplies in the cement market, in violation of India’s Competition Act. In addition, CCI concluded that the cement companies acted in concert in fixing prices of cement. A separate order was entered against Shree Cement.
The action of the cement companies and Cement Manufacturers Association was not only "detrimental to the interests of consumers," but also "detrimental to the whole economy," CCI announced, because cement is a "critical input in construction and infrastructure industry—and thus vital for the economic development of the country."
CCI imposed the following fines: (1) Shree Cement (Rs. 397.51 crore); (2) ACC Ltd. (Rs. 1147.59 crore); (3) Ambuja Cements Ltd. (Rs. 1163.91 crore); (4) Binani Cement Ltd. (Rs. 167.32 crore); (5) Century Textiles and Industries Ltd. (Rs. 274.02 crore); (6) India Cements Ltd. (Rs. 187.48 crore); (7) J K Cements (Rs. 128.54 crore); (8) Lafarge India Pvt. Ltd. (Rs. 490.01 crore); (9) Madras Cements Ltd. (Rs. 258.63 crore); (10) UltraTech Cement Ltd. (Rs. 1175.49 crore); (11) Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. (Rs. 1323.60 crore); and (12) Cement Manufacturers Association (Rs. 0.73 crore).
In addition to the fines, CCI ordered the companies and Cement Manufacturers Association to cease and desist from any conspiratorial activity, price fixing, or limiting the production and supply of cement. The Cement Manufacturers Association is also prohibited from continuing to collect wholesale and retail prices through member companies and from collecting and circulating details concerning the cement companies’ production and distribution.
Companies: Shree Cement; ACC Ltd.; Ambuja Cements Ltd.; Binani Cement Ltd.; Century Textiles and Industries Ltd.; India Cements Ltd.; J K Cements; Lafarge India Pvt. Ltd.; Madras Cements Ltd.; UltraTech Cement Ltd.; Jaiprakash Associates Ltd.; Cement Manufacturers Association
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