CCI passed a final order against UBL, SABMiller India (now known as Anheuser Busch InBev India) and Carlsberg India for indulging in cartelisation in the sale and supply of beer in various States and Union Territories in India.
As AIBA was found to be actively involved in facilitating such cartelisation, CCI also held AIBA to be in contravention of the provisions of Competition Act, 2002 (the Act).
The period of cartel was held to be from 2009 to at least 10 October 2018, with Carlsberg India joining in from 2012. AIBA served as a platform for facilitating such cartelisation since 2013.
Giving benefit of reduction in penalty under the provisions of Section 46 of the Act of 100% to AB InBev and its individuals, 40% to UBL and its individuals and 20% to Carlsberg India and its individuals, the release said.
The CCI directed UBL and Carlsberg India to pay penalties of approximately Rs 750 crore and Rs 120 crore respectively, besides passing a cease-and-desist order.
Based on evidences, CCI found that the three companies engaged in price co-ordination in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The firms were collectively restricting beer supply in Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal. The companies were sharing market in Maharashtra and co-ordinating beer supply to premium institutions in Bengaluru.
Further, the fair trade regulator also found co-ordination among UBL and AB InBev for purchase of second-hand bottles.
We are reviewing the order in consultation with our Legal Advisors, and will evaluate further legal options, as may be available under applicable law, United Breweries said in a clarification on Friday (24 September).
On a consolidated basis, United Breweries reported a net profit of Rs 30.89 crore in Q1 FY22 as against a net loss of Rs 114.40 crore in Q1 FY21. Net revenue from operations rose 120.6% to Rs 1,119.47 crore in the first quarter as compared with the same period las year.
United Breweries is primarily engaged in the manufacture, purchase and sale of beer and non-alcoholic beverages.
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