Competition regulator imposes $290 mln fine on Coal India

MUMBAI Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:21am EST

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MUMBAI Dec 10 (Reuters) - India's competition regulator has imposed a fine of 17.7 billion rupees ($290 million) on state-run miner Coal India for abusing its dominant position and imposing unfair conditions in fuel supply agreements with customers.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Tuesday issued a "cease and desist order" to the state miner and directed it to modify clauses in its fuel supply contracts related to sampling and testing, transportation charges, and compensation on supply of stones.

Officials at Coal India, the world's largest coal miner by output, were not immediately available for comment.

The company, which accounts for 80 percent of India's coal output, changed its pricing system last year, allowing it to charge higher prices from some customers. However, it still sells domestic coal at discounts of between 45 and 70 percent to international prices.

The CCI had launched a probe earlier this year after complaints from state utilities Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. and Gujarat State Electricity Corp against the miner and its units.

($1 = 61.10 rupees) (Reporting by Prashant Mehra; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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