Cement Makers To Fight CCI’s Rs 6,700 Crore Penalty For Cartelisation

Cement, Cartelisation, CCI, Real Estate, Property, Penalty
The Competition Commission of India had slapped a Rs 6,700 Crore penalty on 11 cement firms for cartelisation.

NEW DELHI: Cement manufacturers have moved the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) against Rs 6,700 Crore penalty slapped by the fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) for indulging in cartelisation.

In August, CCI had slapped an over Rs 6,700 Crore penalty on 11 cement firms including ACC, Ambuja, Ramco and JK Cement as well as the industry body Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) for indulging in cartelisation.

In a regulatory filing today, ACC Ltd said: "Some cement manufacturers including the company had filed an appeal before COMPAT against CCI order (August 31, 2016), Whilst admitting the Appeal, COMPAT has passed a similar order as was passed in 2012 in the same matter, directing Appellants including the firm to deposit 10 per cent of penalty — Rs 114.79 Crore — by way of a fixed deposit with a lien in favour of the CCI."

Earlier also, as per directions of COMPAT, ACC had placed the same amount as fixed deposit with a lien in favour of CCI, it added.

"Accordingly, a status quo has been restored in matter. The company was legally advised that it has a strong case on merit and the same legal position continues as on date," ACC, part of the Swiss cement giant LafargeHolcim, said.

In the August 2016 order, apart from penalising the CMA, CCI had directed all the firms 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.

This order was passed by CCI following directions issued by the COMPAT, which had remanded the matter involving the cement firms to regulator for passing fresh orders. Tribunal had also set aside fine on the 10 firms imposed earlier.

CCI has this time imposed a fine of Rs 1,147.59 Crore on ACC, while penalties on Jaiprakash Associates and Ultratech are Rs 1,323.60 Crore and Rs 1,175.49 Crore, respectively.

The fines on other firms 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).

CMA faces a fine of Rs 0.73 Crore and through a separate order, the regulator had slapped Rs 397.51 Crore fine on Shree Cement Ltd, for unfair business practices.

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