The authorities’s antitrust physique on Wednesday performed raids at places of work of UltraTech Cement and two subsidiaries of the world’s largest cement maker LafargeHolcim, two sources near the matter informed Reuters.
Swiss-based LafargeHolcim in an announcement to Reuters confirmed officers visited the Mumbai places of work of ACC and Ambuja Cements and mentioned the businesses have been absolutely cooperating with the authorities, however couldn’t remark additional because the matter is ongoing.
Several officers of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) have been concerned in search operations performed concurrently at a number of places throughout the nation, late into the night, the sources mentioned, asking to not be named due to the confidential nature of the raids.
Searches have been additionally performed at firm Shree Cement Ltd, a 3rd supply mentioned.
None of the Indian cement corporations responded to Reuters requests for a remark.
The CCI didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The CCI doesn’t make any particulars of ongoing cartel instances or raids public.
India is the second largest cement producer on the planet and accounted for greater than eight per cent of world put in capability in 2019, figures from the India Brand Equity Foundation present. Cement gross sales in India stood at $9 billion in 2019-20.
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal final yr informed parliament the CCI was inspecting complaints of cartelisation by cement corporations.
Given the affect on trade of COVID-19, the most recent raids might add to the strain, Rudresh Singh, an antitrust companion at India’s L&L Partners, mentioned.
“There is already significant stress in the sector due to the pandemic,” Mr Singh mentioned.
In 2012, the CCI imposed a complete penalty of $1.1 billion on a number of cement corporations for colluding to under-use their crops and create a man-made scarcity of cement. An attraction in opposition to that call remains to be pending.
In latest years, the CCI has raided places of work of different international corporations, together with beer large Carlsberg and commodities dealer Glencore on allegations of value collusion of their trade.