India competition regulator slaps $1 bn fine on 11 cement companies
Reuters | Photo Credit: Reuters

Competition Commission on Wednesday imposed more than Rs 6,700 crore penalty on 11 cement companies, including ACC and Binani, for cartelisation.

Apart from penalising the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA), the fair trade regulator has directed all the entities to "cease and desist" from indulging in any activity relating to agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement in the market.

In a release, Competition Commission of India (CCI) said Rs 6,715-crore penalty has been imposed on 11 cement companies and the CMA.

The latest order has been passed by the watchdog following directions issued by the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat), which had remanded the matter involving the cement companies to CCI for passing fresh order. The tribunal had also set aside fine on the 10 cement firms imposed earlier.

A fine of Rs 1,147.59 crore has been imposed on ACC, while penalties on Jaiprakash Associates Ltd and Ultratech are Rs 1,323.60 crore and Rs 1,175.49 crore, respectively.

The fines on other companies are Rs 274.02 crore (Century), Rs 187.48 crore (India Cements), Rs 128.54 crore (J K Cements), Rs 490.01 crore (Lafarge), Rs 258.63 crore (Ramco), ACL (Rs 1,163.91 crore) and Binani (Rs 167.32 crore), according to the release.

CMA faces a fine of Rs 0.73 crore.

Penalising the companies, CCI said the actions of the companies and the CMA are not only detrimental to the interests of consumers, but also to the whole economy as cement is a critical input in construction and infrastructure industry and vital for the economic development.

Through a separate order, the regulator has slapped Rs 397.51 crore fine on Shree Cement Ltd, for unfair businesses practices. 

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