Compat stays CCI orders on cement cartelization
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New Delhi: The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) on Tuesday stayed a 31 August order of antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) against two entities found guilty of cartelization. Tuesday’s orders come in favour of Jaiprakash Associates and the Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA).
Compat, however, asked the two entities to deposit 10% of the penalties in fixed deposits of six-months duration with its registry.
On 7 November, the Compat had similarly stayed CCI orders against Shree Cement and ACC Ltd. The cases may be heard next on 7 December.
Jaiprakash and CMA had appealed before Compat against CCI’s 31 August decision, which found 11 cement firms and CMA guilty of cartelization.
CCI, in its order, had asked cement companies to “cease and desist” from activities related to “agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement in the market”.
The commission also restrained CMA from collecting wholesale and retail prices, details of production and dispatch from its member firms.
CCI imposed penalties of Rs1,147.59 crore on ACC Ltd, Rs1,163.91 crore on Ambuja Cements Ltd, Rs167.32 crore on Binani Cement Ltd, Rs274.02 crore on Century Cement Ltd, Rs397 crore on Shree Cements Ltd, Rs187.48 crore on India Cements Ltd, Rs128.54 crore on JK Cements Ltd, Rs490.01 crore on Lafarge, Rs258.63 crore on Ramco, Rs1,175.49 crore on UltraTech Ltd and Rs1,323.60 crore on Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. A penalty of Rs73 lakh was imposed on CMA.
This the second round of litigation in the cement cartelization cases. Owing to procedural irregularities, the Compat had remanded the case to CCI in December 2015 to be heard again.
In the first instance, CCI, through an order dated 20 June 2012, had penalized 10 cement manufacturers for a total of Rs6,307.32 crore for having engaged in cartel to fix prices of cement and earn super-normal profits.