The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has penalised seven companies for indulging in cartelisation and influencing bid price of a tender launched by the Indian Railways.
Also, as many as ten individuals of these seven entities were held by the CCI to be liable for the anti-competitive conduct of their respective companies/firms
The case was initiated on the basis of a lesser penalty application filed by one of the cartelising entities.
Under Section 46 of the Competition Act, a cartel member may approach the Commission by way of filing an application seeking lesser penalty, in return for providing full, true and vital disclosures in respect of the alleged cartel to the Commission.
The cartelisation was related to the supply of protective tubes to the Indian Railways by means of directly or indirectly determining prices, allocating tenders, controlling supply and market, co-ordinating bid prices and manipulating the bidding process.
The evidence in the matter included regular e-mail communications between the parties and filing of bids from same IP addresses by certain parties, etc., an official release said.
The CCI imposed penalties constituting five percent of the average turnover of the companies and individuals found guilty of violating provisions of the Competition Act. The CCI, however, did not reveal the identities of the companies or the persons.