CCI imposes Rs 2.15 bn fine on Everyday, Indo National for unfair biz ways

Eveready

Fair trade regulator CCI on Thursday imposed a total fine of Rs 2.15 billion on Eveready, Indo National, industry grouping AIDCM and their officials for cartelisation in the pricing of zinc-carbon dry cell batteries.

Invoking leniency provisions, the Competition Commission reduced the quantum of penalties on Eveready, Indo National as well as their officials. The fine has been completely waived off in the case of Panasonic Energy India, which was also involved in anti-competitive practices.

In a 39-page order, the watchdog has penalised Eveready and Indo National, which owns the brand 'Nippo' and Association of Indian Dry Cell Manufacturers (AIDCM) to the tune of nearly Rs 2.15 billion. The amount includes fines on officials of the two companies as well as that of the industry grouping.

"From the evidence collected in the case, CCI found that the three battery manufacturers, facilitated by AIDCM, had indulged in anti-competitive conduct of price coordination, limiting production/ supply as well as market allocation," an official release said.

The fines imposed on Eveready and Indo National have been reduced by 30 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, under the leniency provisions.

Eveready Industries India has to pay a fine of Rs 1.71 billion while the penalty on its officials is Rs 5.34 million. In the case of Indo National, the fine is Rs 422.6 million on the company and Rs 2.95 million on the officials.

The regulator has imposed a penalty of Rs 18.5 million on AIDCM and Rs 1.60 million on its officials.

The matter was taken up suo-moto by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

It was also observed that the anti-competitive conduct of the entities was continuing from 2008 to 2016, as per the release.

However, Section 3 of the Competition Act pertaining to anti-competitive agreements came into force only in May 2009.