The CCI probe conducted by the Director General ("DG") has found that units of Tata Steel Ltd., Sweden's AB SKF and Germany's Schaeffler AG have colluded on the pricing of bearings.

CCI began an investigation in 2017 after receiving allegations of five companies colluding on bearings prices from 2009-2014 to pass higher raw material costs onto customers in the auto sector.

Bearings reduce friction in moving parts, helping smooth the operation of vehicles. India's bearings market is dominated by SKF and Schaeffler and is worth around US$1.3 billion.

CCI's investigations arm, in its report (which has not been made public) analysed the company emails, call records and executive testimonies and concluded that SKF India Ltd., Schaeffler India Ltd., National Engineering Industries and Tata Steel's bearings division contravened antitrust law by discussing and agreeing prices.

DSK Legal's observation: As per the information available in public domain, the DG Report was first circulated around May 2019. Although the Report is not binding on CCI during the adjudicatory proceeding, it has a lot of persuasive value.

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