Antitrust body, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), on Wednesday raided the offices of top cement manufacturing companies, including UltraTech Cement, Shree Cement, Ambuja Cement, ACC, Dalmia Cement, and Rockstrong Cement, over allegations of price coordination and collaborating levels of cement supply, The Indian Express has learnt.
The Cement Manufacturers Association in India (CMA), the apex body of large cement manufacturers in India, was raided as well by officers of the investigative arm of the CCI, a source said.
ACC disclosed in a regulatory filing that the CCI had launched an investigation into the company along with other cement companies. “The CCI has initiated an investigation against cement companies in India including ACC regarding alleged anti-competitive behaviour,” the company said in the filing, adding that it was firm in the view that the company had complied with competition regulations. In a separate regulatory filing, Ambuja Cement noted that it was under investigation by the CCI, adding it had not violated regulations and that it had a “a long-standing commitment to fair competition as reflected in its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.”
Both ACC and Ambuja Cement are subsidiaries of Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim, a global leader in the manufacturing of cement and other building materials. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Parliament last year that the CCI was examining complaints of cartelisation by cement companies, as per a Reuters report.
UltraTech Cement, Dalmia Cement and Shree Cement did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment by press time Thursday. Rockstrong Cement could not be reached for comment.
“There is a clear uptick in the number of dawn raids being conducted by the CCI in the last two years,” said Anisha Chand, partner at law firm Khaitan and Co.
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