India’s anti-trust regulator has fined Monsanto Rs 15 million for being too slow in replying to questions in a competition probe of the company. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) last year ordered an investigation into whether the US seeds company had abused its position as a key supplier of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds. The CCI, which is yet to complete its investigation, fined Monsanto for delays in filing a reply.
Monsanto responded to CCI’s queries in August but only after eight reminders issued between April 2016 and May this year, CCIs November order reported, “The commission hopes and trusts that full cooperation shall now be provided.” Monsanto India has said, they continues to extensively cooperate with the CCI in the investigation and have been providing information in response to requests received, This order is related to a procedural matter and is subject to further orders from the Delhi High Court. However, the company challenging the role of CCI and the nature of its probe, Monsanto has filed two separate cases with the Delhi High Court.
Monsanto is up in arms with Indian seed maker, Nuziveedu Seeds, one of the complainants at the CCI. That battle sparked a series of government moves that prompted the world's biggest seed company to withdraw from some businesses in India which has been one of the world's most important seed markets.