The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Grasim Industries (GIL), Aditya Birla Chemicals (India). (ABCIL) and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals. (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, said a government release.
The final order has been passed on Friday with reference to a filing 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 at 8% of the average relevant turnover of GIL and ABCIL of preceding three years.
In case of GACL, a penalty has been levied at 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 finalised the same through common channels creating a façade of the competitive landscape.