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India slaps massive fines on carmakers

MUMBAI -- Fourteen automakers in India have been fined a total of 25.4 billion rupees ($420 million) for allegedly preventing fair competition in replacement parts.

     The Competition Commission of India penalized most of the carmakers operating here, including Volkswagen, General Motors and local manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra. India's own Tata Motors was hit the hardest with a 13.4 billion rupee fine. Four Japanese companies were fined: 4.7 billion rupees for Maruti Suzuki India, 780 million rupees for Honda, 930 million rupees for Toyota and 10 million rupees for Nissan.

     The companies do not provide genuine spare parts to independent distributors outside their business groups, according to CCI, which has kept prices up by preventing free competition.

     But many are expected to fight the claims. "The company, aggrieved by this order, proposes to appeal against it before the appropriate forum," Mahindra said in a statement Tuesday.

     The automakers must pay the fine or challenge the case within 60 days of receiving official notice.

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