Published: 18th January 2021
CCI dismisses case of alleged cartelisation by 2 bidders in AIIMS tender
The regulator had directed the Director General to carry out an investigation after the matter originated from a complaint alleging cartelisation by the firms
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed a case of alleged cartelisation by Romsons Scientific & Surgical Industrial Pvt Ltd and BSN Medical Pvt Ltd and some of their officials. The regulator had directed the director general (DG) to carry out an investigation after the matter originated from a complaint alleging cartelisation by the firms in respect of a tender invited by AIIMS in 2016.
The DG after taking into consideration the submissions of the parties, concluded that different parties, at different geographical locations with different cost of production and profit margins quoting identical rates, independently, would be too much of a coincidence, which is difficult to believe. Accordingly, the DG concluded that the firms colluded and acted in contravention of provisions of the Competition Act.
However, the CCI said that there is no evidence of any communications or meetings having taken place between the opposite parties (OPs) or any other arrangement indicating a tacit collusion in respect of fixing the prices for the bids. Apart from the present instance of identical pricing during the period under consideration, the investigation report falls short of providing clarity as to how such pricing was an outcome of collusion. "There is lack of material to show any collusion on part of the OPs and the Commission, thus, concludes that it is not established that OP-1 and OP-2 have acted in contravention of the provisions of the Act," the regulator said.