CCI Dismisses Allegations of Anti-Competitive Agreements and Abuse of Dominant Position against Cipla Limited and the Bengal Chemists and Druggists Association

On May 10, 2019, CCI dismissed allegations (made by Mr. Kalyan Chowdhary, a proprietor of M/s Kamala & Sons (‘Informant’)), of infringement of Sections 3 and 4 of the Act against Cipla Limited (‘Cipla’) and Bengal Chemists and Druggists Association (‘BCDA’). [1]

The Informant alleged that Cipla failed to supply medicines to the Informant for the orders placed by him due to an existing litigation between the Informant and BCDA before the National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT Litigation’), and further that, Cipla conveyed false reasons such as ‘delay in payments’ to justify the non-supply. However, per the Informant, when he showed Cipla emails demonstrating no delay in payments, he was verbally informed that the non-supply was because of the NCLT Litigation. The Informant also alleged that Cipla and BDCA together manipulated drug prices.

CCI noted that Cipla did not, in fact, stop supplying medicines to the Informant and simply insisted on an advance payment, given earlier instances of delayed payment by the Informant and had not terminated the Informant as its stockist. Further, CCI also did not find evidence of any price manipulation by BDCA and Cipla. In conclusion, CCI noted that the informant had tried “to give a commercial dispute, a colour of competition dispute”, and accordingly, dismissed all allegations against Cipla.

[1] Case No. 43 of 2018

Published In:Inter Alia Special Edition- Competition Law - June 2019 [ English
Date: June 19, 2019