CCI approves acquisition of Usha Martin Limited by Tata Steel Limited

On December 7, 2018, pursuant to a business transfer agreement signed on September 22, 2018 and novation agreement signed on October 24, 2018, CCI approved the acquisition of the steel division of Usha Martin Limited (‘UML’) by Tata Steel Limited (‘TSL’) through Tata Sponge Iron Limited (‘TSIL’) (collectively referred to as ‘Parties’).[1]

CCI, relying on its previous decisional practice, noted the technical characteristics, intended use, price levels, etc. for each of the product segments/sub-segments of steel, concluding that each steel product would form its separate relevant product market. However, the exact definition of the relevant market was left open.

The Parties overlapped in the market for manufacturing and sale of certain steel products in India, i.e., (i) sponge iron; (ii) long carbon steel products, in particular carbon wire rods; (iii) pig iron; (iv) alloy billets; and (v) special steel products.

In its competition assessment, CCI observed that this combination was unlikely to cause AAEC since in the market for manufacturing/sale of sponge iron, carbon steel wire rods, pig iron and alloy billets, the combined marked share was less than 20% and the increment was within the range of 0-5 %. Specifically, in the market for special steel, the overlaps were found to be insignificant. Additionally, in the vertically linked markets, the Parties were unlikely to have any ability/ incentive to foreclose. Based on the above, CCI decided to approve this combination.

[1] Combination Registration No. C-2018/10/608

Published In:Inter Alia Special Edition- Competition Law - March 2019 [ English
Date: March 1, 2019