United Breweries (UBL) and Carlsberg India, respectively, were fined Rs 750 crores and Rs 120 crores by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for allegedly engaging in cartelization. In addition, the regulator issued a cease-and-desist order in this regard.
United Breweries Limited, Anheuser Busch InBev India (AB InBev), and Carlsberg India have been charged with cartelization in the sale and supply of beer in several states and union territories across India. The cartel was said to have existed from 2009 through at least October 10, 2018, when the Director-General conducted search and seizure operations at the beer businesses’ premises, with Carlsberg India joining in from 2012 and AIBA serving as a platform for promoting such cartelization since 2013.
Various provisions of the Competition Act of 2002 were determined to be in violation by the corporations. The three beer businesses were found to be lesser penalty applicants before CCI, according to the order.
The three businesses participated in pricing coordination throughout the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and the Union Territory of Puducherry, according to the regulator. They were also interested in market sharing in Maharashtra and jointly coordinating supply to elite Bengaluru institutions. They were discovered to be in violation of the Competition Act of 2002’s Section 3(3)(c) provisions. United Breweries and Anheuser Busch InBev India were also found to be coordinating the acquisition of used bottles, according to the regulator.