CCI Dismisses Allegations of Cartelization against Indian Corrugated Case Manufacturers’ Association and Others

On March 19, 2021, CCI dismissed cartel allegations against the Indian Corrugated Case Manufacturers’ Association (‘ICCMA’), Federation of Corrugated Box Manufacturers of India (‘FCBMI’), Western India Corrugated Box Manufacturers’ Association (‘WICBMA’), Karnataka Corrugated Box Manufacturers’ Association (‘KCBMA’), North India Corrugated Box Manufacturers’ Association (‘NICBMA’), collectively (‘OPs’).[1]

Gujarat Paper Mills Association, an association of kraft paper mills, had alleged that OPs cartelized to stop the purchase of kraft paper from members of the informant.  It also alleged that the OPs shut their manufacturing units in a coordinated manner to create an artificial shortage of supply of corrugated boxes, to lower the price of kraft paper (raw material) and increase the price of corrugated boxes (finished product).

CCI dismissed the complaint, finding that conduct of the OPs was in protest against the cartelization and increase in prices of kraft paper by kraft paper mills.  It considered that the conduct was to ensure an uninterrupted supply of raw material rather than to cartelize, and therefore, cannot be said to be anti-competitive.

[1] Case No. 28 of 2020, Order dated March 19, 2021

Published In:Inter Alia Special Edititon - Competition Law - April 2021 [ English
Date: April 29, 2021