MRTPC Finds 44 Cement Firms For Guilty Of Cartelization

More than 17 years of proceedings, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has found 44 cement companies, guilty of cartelization under the aegis of the Cement Manufacturers' Association (CMA).

MRTPC, that started its judicial investigation in October 1990, held cement manufacturers including L&T Cement, India Cement, Birla Cement, DCM Cement, Grasim Cement, India Cement, Modi Cement, ACC etc., as guilty of cartelization.

Three-member bench comprising, Mr. Justice O.P. Dwivedi, Mr. M.M.K. Sardana, and Mr. D.C. Gupta stated that we issue a cease and desist order against the respondents and direct them not to indulge in any arrangement directly or indirectly through the instrumentality of CMA, or otherwise, in fixing the prices of their produce in concert or in follow up of a concert.

In a 120-page order, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission said, "Admittedly, respondent No 1 (CMA) has been fixing prices during the control regime. The same apparatus continues even now without any change. In this scenario, the simultaneous and frequent rise in prices by the respondents, although within a narrow band, would clearly indicate that the respondents acted in a concert."

While, reacting to the Commission’s order, HM Bangur, CMA president and MD of Shree Cement said, “We respect the Commission’s decision but our future course of action will be decided after a detailed study of the report.”

Mr. Kamal Nath, The Commerce and Industry Minister said, “Cartelization affects consumers and we will look into it.”