(Adds share reaction)
NEW DELHI, Sept 8 (Reuters) - India's antitrust watchdog on
Wednesday raided local offices of several vegetable seed
companies including a unit of Germany's BASF in a
case related to alleged price collusion, two sources with direct
knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Competition Commission of India (CCI) officials were raiding
offices of BASF India and at least three other
vegetable seed companies in an operation across the country that
included the satellite city of Gurugram near New Delhi, IT hub
Bengaluru and the southern city of Hyderabad, the sources said.
A spokesperson for BASF India confirmed the raids at Nunhems
office, based in Gurugram. "We are yet to confirm the exact
reason of the raid. We are strictly committed to high standards
of legal compliance and business ethics. We will support the
officials in every way possible," she said.
After Reuters published details of the raid, shares in BASF
India extended losses to as much as 3.7%, before recouping some
of them to close down 2.1% in Mumbai trading.
The CCI did not immediately respond to a request for
The names of the other companies being raided were not
Further details of the case and the raids were also not
available, as the CCI does not make anything related to its
investigations of alleged price cartels public.
In recent years, the antitrust watchdog has raided several
companies in case of alleged price fixing, including the likes
of beer giant Carlsberg https://reut.rs/37PX2Y0 and commodities
trader Glencore https://reut.rs/3yWHBIO.
Typically during such surprise raids, company officials are
questioned and documents, as well as computer hard disks, are
seized, which are analyzed by the watchdog later as its
(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Mayank Bhardwaj in New Delhi and
Abhirup Roy in Mumbai
Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Mark Potter and David Evans)