CCI issued orders against Grasim Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) Limited and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited on complain by Delhi Jal Board
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Grasim Industries Limited (GIL), Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) Ltd. (ABCIL) and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd. (GACL)to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(1) read with Section 3(3)(d) of the Competition Act, 2002 for rigging Delhi Jal Board tenders which were floated for procurement of Poly Aluminium Chloride (PAC) which is used for purification of water.
The final order has been passed today on a reference filed by Delhi Jal Board (DJB).
While rejecting the plea of being single economic entity taken by GIL and ABCIL, CCI noted in the order that these two companies are not only separate legal entities but also have participated in these tenders individually and separately. Further, CCI noted that the concept of single economic entity has no application in the context of the proceedings initiated under Section 3(3) of the Act, especially in a case of bid rigging/collusive bidding.
Apart from issuing a cease and desist order against the above companies, CCI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 2.30 crore, Rs. 2.09 crore and Rs. 1.88 crore upon GIL, ABCIL, and GACL for the anti-competitive conduct. The penalty has been levied @ 8 % of the average relevant turnover of GIL and ABCIL of preceding three years. In case of GACL, the penalty has been levied @ 6 % of the average relevant turnover of preceding three years. The conduct of GIL and ABCIL was noted by the Commission as egregious as these companies while apparently submitting separate bids, prepared and finalized the same through common channels creating a façade of the competitive landscape.