The CCI has imposed a ₹1,788 crore penalty on Apollo, MRF and other tyre manufacturers. An appeal against the CCI ruling was lodged with the Madras High Court, but it was denied on January 6th of this year.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced today that the Supreme Court has dropped a case brought by tyre businesses challenging the regulator’s order imposing fines totaling over ₹1,788 crore for cartelization.
Apollo Tyres was fined ₹425.53 crore, MRF Ltd was fined ₹622.09 crore, CEAT Ltd was fined ₹252.16 crore, JK Tyre was fined ₹309.95 crore, and Birla Tyres was fined ₹178.33 crore by the CCI. It also demanded that they stop engaging in unethical business activities.
In August 2018, the watchdog fined Apollo Tyres, MRF, CEAT, Birla Tyres, JK Tyre and Industries, and the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association a sum of ₹1,788 crore (ATMA).
The tyre makers have shared price-sensitive statistics and made group decisions on tyre pricing through their ATMA platform, according to the government statement.
During 2011-2012, they were judged to have breached Section 3 of the Competition Act. Anti-competitive arrangements are prohibited under this law.
An appeal against the CCI ruling was lodged with the Madras High Court, but it was denied on January 6th of this year.
“Aggrieved with the same, the tyre companies preferred SLPs (Special Leave Petitions) before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which were dismissed vide its order dated 28.01.2022,” the regulator said in a statement on Wednesday.
The investigation was started after the corporate affairs ministry obtained a referral based on a representation made by the All India Tyre Dealers Federation (AITDF) to the ministry, according to the CCI.
The companies and the association were deemed to have engaged in cartelization by operating in unison to raise the prices of cross ply/bias tyres types supplied in the replacement market by each of them, as well as to restrict and regulate manufacture and supply in the market.
The watchdog stated in the announcement, referencing its order, that exchanging such confidential data made tyre manufacturer collaboration simpler.