The Competition Commission has ordered a detailed probe into a fresh complaint against biotech major Monsanto. After concluding that the latest allegations are similar to the previous ones, the watchdog has decided to club the case with the ongoing probe. In little over a year, this is the fourth time that CCI is ordering a probe against the company. The latest complaint was filed by Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Rama Agri Genetics (India) against Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India, Monsanto Holdings, Monsanto Company, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company and Monsanto Technology LLC. Among others, it was alleged that these entities abused the dominant position by imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions in the agreements through which Bt technology is sub-licensed to seed manufacturing companies in India. In a four-page order, dated March 14, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it has decided to club the matter with ongoing investigation after "considering the substantial similarity of the core allegations in the instant information and scope of directions given in the earlier cases". Last October, CCI had ordered a probe against Monsanto by its investigation arm Director General (DG). In June 2016 also, a detailed investigation was directed into three complaints against Monsanto by clubbing them with an ongoing investigation. Back in February 2016, CCI had ordered detailed probe against Monsanto on the basis of two complaints. At that time, the regulator had prima-facie found that the company violated competition norms under Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act. Section 3 of the Competition Act deals with anti- competitive agreements while Section 4 is about abuse of dominant position.
Monsanto again comes under CCI lens for unfair business ways
Press Trust of India |