JSA successfully defended Satia Industries and its office bearer before CCI in a cartel case

JSA represented Satia Industries Limited (“Satia Industries”), a leading paper manufacturer, and its officer bearer before the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) in a suo moto case initiated against the 21 paper manufacturers and their association i.e., Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA) (collectively referred to as “Opposite Parties”) for cartelisation in fixing the prices of writing and printing paper.

The case was initiated suo moto by the CCI, pursuant to a note received from the Office of the Director General (“DG”) based on certain material discovered during the course of another on-going investigations relating to the formation of a cartel among paper manufacturers.

In December 2016, the CCI passed a prima facie order directing the DG to investigate the matter. During the course of the investigation, one of the paper manufacturers filed a leniency application disclosing the existence of alleged cartel between the paper manufacturers. JSA filed detailed submissions before the DG arguing that the client has not indulged in any anti-competitive activities. Upon investigation, the DG found certain Opposite Parties indulging in cartelization in fixing the prices of writing and printing paper but did not find any evidence of alleged cartelization by Satia Industries. In response to the investigation report, JSA filed detailed submissions and appeared before the CCI in the oral hearing.

On 18 November 2021, the CCI passed its final order exonerating Satia Industries and its officer bearer from the allegation of cartelization and dismiss the case against them. However, it found 11 Opposite Parties and their office bearers guilty of indulging in cartelization and imposed a monetary penalty on them.

JSA team comprised Partner – Vaibhav Choukse, and Senior Associate – Nripi Jolly