Competition Commission of India (CCI): In its recent press release, Competition Commission of India, while giving benefit of reduction in penalty under the provisions of Section 46 of the Competition Act, 2002 of 100%, 40% and 20% to AB InBev, United Breweries Ltd. (UBL) and Carlsberg India Private Limited (CIPL), and all their individuals respectively besides passing a cease-and-desist order. a final order against three beer companies namely United Breweries Limited (‘UBL’), SABMiller India Limited (now renamed as Anheuser Busch InBev India Ltd. after being acquired by Anheuser Busch InBev SA/NV) (‘AB InBev’) and (‘CIPL’) for indulging in cartelisation in the sale and supply of beer in various States and Union Territories in India, including through the platform of All India Brewers’ Association (‘AIBA’). The period of cartel was held to be from 2009 to at least 10.10.2018 (the date on which the Director General (‘DG’) conducted search and seizure operations at the premises of the beer companies), with CIPL joining in from 2012 and AIBA serving as a platform for facilitating such cartelisation since 2013. All three beer companies were lesser penalty applicants before CCI.
Engaged in price co-ordination in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (the ‘Act’) in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry, in collectively restricting supply of beer in the States of Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(b) of the Act, and in sharing of market in the State of Maharashtra as well as co-ordination with respect to supply of beer to premium institutions in the city of Bengaluru in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(c) of the Act. CCI also found co-ordination amongst UBL and AB InBev with respect to purchase of second-hand bottles.
Agatha Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this news.