The Bar Council of India does not permit advertisement or solicitation by advocates in any form or manner. By accessing this website, www.khaitanco.com, you acknowledge and confirm that you are seeking information relating to Khaitan & Co of your own accord and that there has been no form of solicitation, advertisement or inducement by Khaitan & Co or its members. The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as soliciting or advertisement. No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Khaitan & Co shall not be liable for consequences of any action taken by relying on the material/information provided on this website. The contents of this website are the intellectual property of Khaitan & Co.

Please accept the above


See all results for ""

A New “High”: CCI imposes record penalties on beer cartel leniency applicants


The Competition Commission of India (Commission) through an order dated 24 September 2021 imposed a combined penalty of about INR 870 crore (~USD 116.75 million) on United Breweries Limited (UBL) and Carlsberg India Private Limited (CIPL) for cartelisation (including price fixing) between UBL, CIPL and Anheuser Busch InBev SA/NV (ABI) (collectively OPs) in market for “production, marketing, distribution and sale of beer in India”. The Commission also found the All India Brewers Association (AIBA) liable for acting as a conduit for anti-competitive activities between the beer manufacturers.

ABI and its employees were not penalised because they were the first to disclose the cartel, and provided clinching evidence leading to a dawn raid in the premises of the OPs and AIBA.


ABI’s leniency application alleged that the OPs colluded using the platform of AIBA to (i) align beer prices; and (ii) make representations to various Indian State government organised corporations - entrusted with controlling the supply of liquor in a given State - for price adjustments in various states. Thereafter, the Commission passed a prima facie order dated 31 October 2017 directing the Director General (DG) to investigate the matter.

The evidence collected by the DG’s office comprised email exchanges in relation to (i) sensitive price information (Andhra Pradesh, National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Puducherry); (ii) revenue, stock and sales data (Maharashtra); and (iii) limiting the supply of beer in the market (Odisha, West Bengal, and Maharashtra).

Even though UBL and CIPL also subsequently filed leniency applications under affidavits, they inter alia very strongly argued that the cartel did not cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition within the States of India.

The Commission’s Order

The Commission concluded that the OPs and AIBA violated Section 3(3) of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act) in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and the NCT of Delhi.


The Commission recognised ABI’s role in providing vital information that allowed it to cause dawn raids. ABI benefitted with a 100% reduction in penalty as the Commission fully recognised ABI’s genuine, full, continuous, and expeditious co-operation that enabled not only an investigation but also helped the Commission establish contravention of the Competition Act. The second applicant, UBL, was awarded a 40% reduction in penalty with a net fine of INR 751 crore (~USD 100.78 million). CIPL being the third and the last leniency applicant, was imposed with a penalty of INR 121 crore (~USD 16.23 million), after a 20% reduction.

ABI was represented before the Commission by Khaitan & Co. led by partners Mr. Manas Kumar Chaudhari, Mr. Sagardeep Rathi and Mr. Pranjal Prateek.

-     Manas Kumar Chaudhuri (Partner), Sagardeep Rathi (Partner), Pranjal Prateek (Partner), and Nilav Banerjee (Associate)

For any queries please contact: editors@khaitanco.com ​​​​​​​

Manas Kumar Chaudhuri (partners) , Sagardeep Rathi (partners) , Pranjal Prateek (partners)

We have updated our Privacy Policy, which provides details of how we process your personal data and apply security measures. We will continue to communicate with you based on the information available with us. You may choose to unsubscribe from our communications at any time by clicking here.

For private circulation only

The contents of this email are for informational purposes only and for the reader’s personal non-commercial use. The views expressed are not the professional views of Khaitan & Co and do not constitute legal advice. The contents are intended, but not guaranteed, to be correct, complete, or up to date. Khaitan & Co disclaims all liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether arising from negligence, accident or any other cause.

© 2021 Khaitan & Co. All rights reserved.


One Forbes
3rd & 4th Floors, No. 1
Dr. V. B. Gandhi Marg
Fort, Mumbai 400 001


119/65, First Floor
Dr Radhakrishnan Salai
Chennai 600 004,


Max Towers
7th & 8th Floors
Sector 16B, Noida
Gautam Buddh Nagar
201 301 India


Ocean Financial Centre
#37-02 10 Collyer
37th Floor Quay
Raffles Place 049315,