A number of Indian mills that use recovered fibre have been fined for forming a price-fixing cartel.
Additionally, the Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association was fined for hosting the meetings.
The Competition Commission of India fined ten mills 500,000 rupees (£5,000) and the trade association 250,000 rupees (£2,500) for the violations. However, the Commission said the fine was symbolic as the mills had suffered during the Covid pandemic and a maximum fine could have put them out of business.
Although 21 mills were investigated, only the ten mills and the trade association were found guilty. The others, while found not to have contravened Indian competition law, were told they should have reported the matter to Indian authorities and warned not to take part in meetings where activities prohibited by Indian law take place.
In a statement, the Competition Commission of India said: “[We] found these companies and an association which provided its platform, for such activities to have indulged in cartelisation in fixing the prices of writing and printing paper.”
The mills were all involved in manufacturing paper from agricultural waste and recycled paper, and the offences were undertaken in 2012 and 2013.
In its evidence, the Commission said several meetings, hosted by the Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association, discussed pricing of writing and printing paper produced with agricultural and recycled paper content. They also developed a roadmap for future increases by these manufacturers.
The mills ordered to pay fines by the Competition Commission of India were:
- Bindals Papers Mills Limited
- K.R. Pulp & Papers Limited
- Khanna Paper Mills Limited
- Katyayini Paper Mills Private Limited
- Kuantum Papers Limited
- Madhya Bharat Papers Limited
- Naini Paper Limited
- Ruchira Papers Limited
- Shreyans Industries Limited
- Trident Limited.