April 20, 2018
The CCI (Competition Commission of India) in an important judgement yesterday has imposed penalty on Dry Cell Battery manufacturers namely Eveready Industries India Ltd. (‘Eveready’), Indo National Ltd. (‘Nippo’), Panasonic Energy India Co. Ltd. (‘Panasonic’) and their association AIDCM (Association of Indian Dry Cell Manufacturers) for colluding to fix prices of zinc-carbon dry cell battery in India.
The case at hand had been taken up by the CCI suo motu and the Commission thereafter carried-out simultaneous search and seizure operations at the premises of Eveready, Nippo and Panasonic and seized incriminating material and documents there from.
In the case, the CCI concluded that the three battery manufacturers, facilitated by the association had indulged in anticompetitive conduct of price coordination, limiting production/ supply as well as market allocation in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(a), 3(3)(b) and 3(3)(c) read with Section 3(1) of the Act.
The CCI in view of contravention of provisions of the Act, has imposed a penalty of Rs.245.07 crore, Rs. 52.82 crore and Rs. 74.68 crore on Eveready, Nippo and Panasonic, respectively. Other factors taken into consideration by CCI in the case were duration of cartel, industry conditions, etc.
The entire case can be accessed here.