India: Seven cement firms fined for bid-rigging

India: Seven cement firms fined for bid-rigging
20 January 2017

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed fines totalling more than INR2bn (US$30m) on seven cement firms it found guilty of colluding in their responses to a 2012 tender from Haryana state, Indian media reports.

The companies have each been fined 0.3 per cent of their average annual turnover for the past three years. Ultratech faces the largest penalty, at INR683m – around a third of the total. The other firms fined were Jaiprakash Associates, ACC, Ambuja Cements, Shree Cement, JK Cement, and JK Lakshmi Cement.

“The anti-competitive conduct was re-affirmed through SMS exchanged and calls made amongst the officials of the cement companies,” the CCI said.

Market reaction to the news has been subdued. One analyst who spoke to the Economic Times said that the forthcoming federal budget – and its anticipated infrastructure spending – was more significant to the firms’ fortunes.

Speaking to the Business Standard, an UltraTech spokesperson said, "Our company is always in compliance with the laws. We will examine the CCI order and take appropriate actions."

Published under Cement News