Monsanto seeks time to respond to CCI probe on it abusing dominant position in India


American multinational Monsanto’s Indian joint venture has sought another six weeks to respond to the Competition Commission of India on alleged abuse of its dominant position in the Bt cotton seeds market.

The investigation arm of the antitrust watchdog had said Mahyco Monsanto Biotech was charging unfair licence fees and entering pricing agreements to overcharge farmers for the seeds. In May, the CCI circulated the investigation report and sought response from all stakeholders by June 21. A hearing was scheduled for July 25.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, on behalf of the company, has asked for more time and said it wanted to cross-examine witnesses involved in the investigation.


“…MMB requests for additional time of at least six weeks, from the date of completion of cross-examination of all relevant witness or receipt of copy of the entire DG record following a complete review and inspection of the same, whichever is later, in order to assess the evidence in the matter and file its objections to the DG report,” the letter to CCI said.

In 2015, the agriculture ministry and rival Nuziveedu group complained to the CCI against the Monsanto Group.

After Mahyco Monsanto files its reply, other parties in the case – MoA, Telengana government, Nuziveedu , All India Kisan Sabha, National Seed Association will give their response, a lawyer said.

Ravula Venkaiah, the vice-president of the All India Kisan Sabha and a petitioner in the case, said the matter should be heard quickly so that anti-competitive practices were stopped.

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