Companies & Sectors
Competition Commission announces leniency for those giving information on cartels

The Competition Commission said leniency will be shown to those companies and individuals coming out with information on cartels and anti-competitive agreements while protecting their identification 

New Delhi: Encouraged by the general response on its Rs6,300-crore penalty in the cement cartel case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Tuesday said leniency will be shown to those companies and individuals coming out with information on cartels and anti-competitive agreements, reports PTI.
"It is right time that we reach out to people and encourage them to come out with information on more cartels," said Ashok Chawla, Chairman, CCI.
Pointing out the Competition Act provides for 'leniency programme' for those who help CCI tackle the 'pernicious practise of cartelisation', Chawla said: 'nobody has used it so far'.
Just last month, the CCI slapped a hefty Rs6,307-crore penalty on 11 cement companies, including ACC, Ambuja Cements, Ultratech and Jaiprakash Associates for price cartelisation. The fine was fixed at 50% of their profit during 2009-10 and 2010-11.
While the order drew flak from cement companies, which plan to appeal before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), the CCI has largely been welcomed for the bold step.
In an advertisement in major newspapers today, the CCI announced a leniency programme 'for enterprises/individuals who disclose their role in a cartel and co-operate with subsequent investigations'.
CCI also assured the identification as well as information obtained would be kept confidential.
"In the advanced jurisdictions, cartels are prosecuted based on evidence obtained through leniency provisions... evidence of meetings, phone calls, and other mechanisms."
"...Exchanging information is more substantial than relying on economic and circumstantial evidence..A whistle blower can provide documented evidence," said Ram Tamara, Director, Nathan Economic Consulting India.
He added that in the case of the European paraffin wax cartel, five wax producers had applied for leniency and provided details on cartel meetings and other communications.
As a result, he said, the European Commission got evidence enough to establish that a cartel operated for over 10 years.
Senior advocate and competition law expert OP Dua said "The CCI needs to device guidelines for the the leniency programme on the lines of  OECD's guidelines on fighting cartels and leniency programmes".
The CCI, which became fully functional in May 2009, is empowered by an Act of Parliament to take up cases relating to violation of section 3 and and 4 of the Competition Act, pertaining to anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominant market position, respectively.



Nem Chandra Singhal

5 years ago

It may turned out another babu office who may put restrictions in free trade in India.
Nem Chandra Singhal

Eicher to enter personal vehicle segment; forms JV with Polaris

Eicher and Polaris said their 50:50 JV would roll out personal vehicles by 2015 in the domestic and overseas market


New Delhi: Commercial vehicle maker Eicher Motors on Tuesday announced its entry into the personal vehicle segment by tying up with the US-based Polaris Industries to form an equal joint venture. The company would invest Rs250 crore in the JV over next three years to set up a manufacturing facility, reports PTI.


The JV is currently exploring a location in India to set up the plant to roll out "personal vehicles" by 2015 for the domestic as well as overseas markets.


"Currently, we are present in the commercial vehicle and motorcycle categories. The collaboration with Polaris Industries will allow us to enter into a new vehicle segment," Eicher Motors Managing Director and CEO Siddhartha Lal said in a statement.


As per of a definitive agreement, both the firms have formed a 50:50 joint venture to set up a green-field project in the automotive sector.


"The joint venture company will design, develop, manufacture and sell a full new range of personal vehicles suitable for India and other emerging markets," Eicher Motors said without sharing other details.


The manufacturing facility will be located in India and the JV partners are currently evaluating locations to set up the plant, which is expected to start production in 2015, it added.


"The overall investment in the joint venture company over a three year period will be approximately Rs250 crore. The projected financial outcomes from this venture meet the long term financial expectations of both the companies," the statement said.


According to the agreement, the JV will be governed by a board with equal representation from both the companies.


"At Eicher Motors, we are committed to exploring and pursuing opportunities for long-term profitable growth and value creation for our stakeholders. This JV with Polaris is a strategic initiative towards that direction," Lal said.


The JV will bring together Eicher's expertise in frugal engineering, lean business model and understanding of emerging markets along with product development capabilities and reliability of Polaris, he added.


Commenting on the partnership, Polaris Industries Chief Executive Officer Scott W Wine said: "This agreement reinforces Polaris' position as a global leader, instantly expanding our presence in India and our access to additional emerging markets around the globe."


The JV will provide both the firms opportunities to develop new products and realise global growth, he added.


Uninor to scale down operations in TN, Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa

Uninor said in light of the continuing uncertainty around the auctions, it decided to scale down its operation in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa  

New Delhi: Mobile services provider Uninor on Tuesday said it will scale down operations in four telecom circles - Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Orissa, while sharpening focus on nine other areas in view of continuing uncertainty over spectrum auction, reports PTI.
"In light of the continuing uncertainty around the auctions, the Uninor management has decided to focus its resources by strengthening nine of its 13 commercially active circles," the company said in a statement.
It said it will strengthen operations in UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand, Kolkata, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa and Gujarat.
This will place the company in a stronger financial and operational position to enter the auctions, rules permitting, the company added.
Uninor has 6.8 million customers in these four circles and 400 direct employees. It said it will "evaluate possibilities of relocating some of the employees to other circles and also provide assistance in securing employment outside the company".
Uninor, in which Norwegian firm Telenor holds over 67% stake, was one of the operators impacted by the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 licences in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
All its 22 licences were quashed by the apex court and are set to expire on 7th September. The court has also ordered conducting fresh auctions by 31st August.
At the end of May, Uninor had 45 million subscribers nationwide. It said the uncertain environment has also affected its ability to secure operational funding.
"Since the Supreme Court order, we have pursued every possible measure to take our business forward in its current form. However, we are now forced to take this difficult but necessary decision," Uninor Managing Director Sigve Brekke said.
The plan now is to enter the auctions with a very strong presence in these nine circles, auction rules permitting, he added.
"We will focus funds, resources and all our efforts to meet even more aggressive targets in these nine circles," Brekke said.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended a base price of Rs3,622 crore for a megahertz of airwaves to be auctioned, and over Rs18,000 crore price for pan-India operations. Uninor has already expressed concerns over the "extremely high" price. 
Uninor said it will maintain a smaller network and remain operational in the four circles.
"Network in these four circles remains operational and the scale down of operations in these circles will be gradual. Uninor will give all its existing customers a 30 day notice before any network scale down is expected to begin," it said.
Uninor will also stop activation of any new subscribers in these circles with immediate effect.
The company said it will closely work with each of its distribution channel partners in the four circles to enable liquidation of market stock or compensation as needed.
"The company will work jointly with its business partners to together recast several agreements in line with the new focus," it added.
Meanwhile, Telenor Group President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas said in a statement, "Since 2nd February (when the Supreme Court cancelled the licences), Telenor Group has continued to single-handedly provide financial backing to Uninor on the belief of an early resolution.
"However, with no sight of either auction rules or dates six months later, we support Uninor in taking this financially prudent decision." 
Baksass said the group will continue to extend funding support to Uninor in the nine circles.
"We urge the Indian Government to provide clarity on the auction policy at the earliest," he added.



venkatesh karnasula

5 years ago

hi sir why network are changed we can tie with another network to stop that auction

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