Indian Watchdog Raids Tire Companies Apollo, Ceat, Continental

The Competition Commission of India raided the offices of some of India’s largest tyre companies on Wednesday, including Germany’s Continental and India’s Apollo Tyres and CEAT in a case of suspected competition law violations, sources told Reuters.

Shares of Apollo, one of India’s biggest tyre makers, fell as much as 3% after Reuters first reported the raids, while CEAT dropped 2.2% in the Mumbai market, which was trading higher.

Shares in Continental, which is a relatively small player in India, fell about 3.5% in morning trade in Frankfurt.

India’s tyre industry has been growing swiftly over the years as the country’s population urbanizes. India has also grown in importance as an exporter, growing by 10% by value in 2021 to reach a total of approximately $1.8 billion.

Apollo did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while calls and messages to CEAT spokespeople went unanswered.

In a statement after the Reuters report was published, Continental confirmed that officers of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had visited its office near New Delhi. “Continental is fully cooperating with the authorities,” it said.

The raids were being conducted by CCI officers across multiple cities, the sources said. The CCI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The agency does not publicly disclose its raids.

One of the sources said the case was related to an antitrust investigation into the use of unfair trade practices and rigging of bids while supplying tyres for public transport vehicles in the northern state of Haryana.