Section 230: Power to Compromise or Make Arrangements with Creditors and Members
Section 231: Power of Tribunal to Enforce Compromise or Arrangement
Section 232: Merger and Amalgamation of Companies
Section 233: Merger or Amalgamation of Certain Companies
Section 234: Merger or Amalgamation of Company with Foreign Company
Section 235: Power to Acquire Shares of Shareholders Dissenting from Scheme or Contract Approved by Majority
Section 236: Purchase of Minority Shareholding
Section 237: Power of Central Government to Provide for Amalgamation of Companies in Public Interest
Section 238: Registration of Offer of Schemes Involving Transfer of Shares
Section 239: Preservation of Books and Papers of Amalgamated Companies
Section 240: Liability of Officers in Respect of Offences Committed Prior to Merger, Amalgamation, etc.
♦ Section 230: Power to Compromise or Make Arrangements with Creditors and Members:
(1) Power of Tribunal on an application filed for a compromise/arrangement:
Where a compromise or arrangement is proposed:
(a) between a company and its creditors or any class of them; or
(b) between a company and its members or any class of them,
> Explanation: For the purposes of this sub-section, arrangement includes:
(2) Disclosures by applicant:
The Company or any other person, by whom an application is made under section 230(1), shall disclose to the Tribunal by affidavit:
(a) all material facts relating to the company, such as the latest financial position of the company, the latest auditor’s report on the accounts of the company and the pendency of any investigation or proceedings against the company;
(b) reduction of share capital of the company, if any, included in the compromise or arrangement;
(c) any scheme of corporate debt restructuring consented to by not less than 75% of the secured creditors in value, including:
(i) a creditor’s responsibility statement in the prescribed form;
(ii) safeguards for the protection of other secured and unsecured creditors;
(iii) report by the auditor that the fund requirements of the company after the corporate debt restructuring as approved shall conform to the liquidity test based upon the estimates provided to them by the Board;
(iv) where the company proposes to adopt the corporate debt restructuring guidelines specified by the Reserve Bank of India, a statement to that effect; and
(v) a valuation report in respect of the shares and the property and all assets, tangible and intangible, movable and immovable, of the company by a registered valuer.
(3) Notice of meeting conducted on order of tribunal:
Where a meeting is proposed to be called in pursuance of an order of the Tribunal U/s. 230(1), a notice of such meeting shall be sent to:
individually at the address registered with the company which shall be
Advertisement of notice:
Provided that such notice and other documents shall also be placed:
Time period for the receipt of the copies of the compromise or arrangement:
Provided further that where the notice for the meeting is also issued by way of an advertisement, it shall indicate,
(4) Vote to the adoption of the compromise or arrangement:
A notice under section 230(3) shall provide that the persons to whom the notice is sent may vote in the meeting either themselves or through proxies or by postal ballot to the adoption of the compromise or arrangement within 1 month from the date of receipt of such notice:
Provided that any objection to the compromise or arrangement shall be made only by persons:
(5) Notice to sectoral regulators to make representation, if likely to be affected by the compromise or arrangement:
A notice under section 230(3) along with all the documents in such form as may be prescribed shall also be sent to the
shall require that representations, if any, to be made by them shall be made within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of such notice, failing which, it shall be presumed that they have no representations to make on the proposals.
(6) Binding order of Tribunal:
Where, at a meeting held in pursuance of section 230(1),
the same shall be binding on the company, all the creditors, or class of creditors or members or class of members, as the case may be, or,
(7): Particulars to be stated in the order:
An order made by the Tribunal under section 230(6) shall provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:
(a) where the compromise or arrangement provides for conversion of preference shares into equity shares, such preference shareholders shall be given an option to either obtain arrears of dividend in cash or accept equity shares equal to the value of the dividend payable;
(b) the protection of any class of creditors;
(c) if the compromise or arrangement results in the variation of the shareholders’ rights, it shall be given effect to under the provisions of section 48;
(d) if the compromise or arrangement is agreed to by the creditors under section 230(6), any proceedings pending before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction established under section 4 of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 shall abate;
(e) such other matters including exit offer to dissenting shareholders, if any, as are in the opinion of the Tribunal necessary to effectively implement the terms of the compromise or arrangement:
Provided that no compromise or arrangement shall be sanctioned by the Tribunal unless:
(8) Filing of order of tribunal with registrar:
The order of the Tribunal shall be filed with the Registrar by the company within a period of 30 days of the receipt of the order.
(9) The Tribunal may dispense with calling of a meeting of creditor or class of creditors where such creditors or class of creditors, having at least 90% value, agree and confirm, by way of affidavit, to the scheme of compromise or arrangement.
(10) Exemption in relation to buy-back of securities:
No compromise or arrangement in respect of any buy-back of securities under this section shall be sanctioned by the Tribunal unless such buy-back is in accordance with the provisions of section 68.
*(11) Inclusion of takeover offer:
Any compromise or arrangement may include takeover offer made in such manner as may be prescribed:
Provided that in case of listed companies, takeover offer shall be as per the regulations framed by the Securities and Exchange Board
*(12) Application to tribunal by aggrieved party:
An aggrieved party may make an application to the Tribunal in the event of any grievances with respect to the takeover offer of companies other than listed companies in such manner as may be prescribed and the Tribunal may, on application, pass such order as it may deem fit.
> Explanation: For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the provisions of section 66 shall not apply to the reduction of share capital effected in pursuance of the order of the Tribunal under this section.
1. In case of Government Company – In Section 230 for the word “Tribunal“ the words “Central Government” shall be substituted. [Notification Dated 13th June, 2017]
♦ Section 231: Power of Tribunal to Enforce Compromise or Arrangement:
(1) Power of tribunal to enforce the order:
Where the Tribunal makes an order under section 230 sanctioning a compromise or an arrangement in respect of a company, it:
(a) shall have power to supervise the implementation of the compromise or arrangement; and
(b) may, at the time of making such order or at any time thereafter, give such directions in regard to any matter or make such modifications in the compromise or arrangement as it may consider necessary for the proper implementation of the compromise or arrangement.
(2) Winding up order by tribunal:
If the Tribunal is satisfied that the compromise or arrangement sanctioned under section 230,
it may make an order for winding up the company and such an order shall be deemed to be an order made under section 273.
(3) Retrospective effect of order:
The provisions of this section shall, so far as may be, also apply to a company in respect of which an order has been made before the commencement of this Act sanctioning a compromise or an arrangement.
1. In case of Government Company – In Section 231 for the word “Tribunal“ the words “Central Government“ shall be substituted. [Notification Dated 13th June, 2017]
Section 232: Merger and Amalgamation of Companies:
(1) Filing of an application for purpose of reconstruction or companies involving merger/amalgamation or transfer of undertaking, property, etc.:
Where an application is made to the Tribunal under section 230 for the sanctioning of a compromise or an arrangement proposed between a company and any such persons as are mentioned in that section, and it is shown to the Tribunal:
(a) that the compromise or arrangement has been proposed for the purposes of, or in connection with, a scheme for the reconstruction of the company or companies involving merger or the amalgamation of any two or more companies; and
(b) that under the scheme,
the Tribunal may on such application,
the provisions of section 230 (3) to (6) shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(2) Circulation of information for the meeting by the merging companies /the companies in respect of which a division is proposed:
Where an order has been made by the Tribunal under section 232(1), merging companies or the companies in respect of which a division is proposed, shall also be required to circulate the following for the meeting so ordered by the Tribunal, namely:
(a) the draft of the proposed terms of the scheme drawn up and adopted by the directors of the merging company;
(b) confirmation that a copy of the draft scheme has been filed with the Registrar;
(c) a report adopted by the directors of the merging companies explaining effect of compromise on each class of shareholders, key managerial personnel, promotors and non-promoter shareholders laying out in particular the share exchange ratio, specifying any special valuation difficulties;
(d) the report of the expert with regard to valuation, if any;
(e) a supplementary accounting statement if the last annual accounts of any of the merging company relate to a financial year ending more than six months before the first meeting of the company summoned for the purposes of approving the scheme.
(3) Order of tribunal on the agreement of compromise or arrangement:
The Tribunal, after satisfying itself that the procedure specified in sections 232 (1) and (2) has been complied with, may, by order, sanction the compromise or arrangement or by a subsequent order, make provision for the following matters, namely:
(a) the transfer to the transferee company of the whole or any part of the undertaking, property or liabilities of the transferor company from a date to be determined by the parties unless the Tribunal, for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, decides otherwise;
(b) the allotment or appropriation by the transferee company of any shares, debentures, policies or other like instruments in the company which, under the compromise or arrangement, are to be allotted or appropriated by that company to or for any person:
Provided that a transferee company shall not, as a result of the compromise or arrangement,
(c) the continuation by or against the transferee company of any legal proceedings pending by or against any transferor company on the date of transfer;
(d) dissolution, without winding-up, of any transferor company;
(e) the provision to be made for any persons who, within such time and in such manner as the Tribunal directs, dissent from the compromise or arrangement;
(f) where share capital is held by any non-resident shareholder under the foreign direct investment norms or guidelines specified by the Central Government or in accordance with any law for the time being in force, the allotment of shares of the transferee company to such shareholder shall be in the manner specified in the order;
(g) the transfer of the employees of the transferor company to the transferee company;
(h) where the transferor company is a listed company and the transferee company is an unlisted company:
(A) the transferee company shall remain an unlisted company until it becomes a listed company;
(B) if shareholders of the transferor company decide to opt out of the transferee company,
the arrangements under this provision may be made by the Tribunal:
Provided that the amount of payment or valuation under this clause for any share shall not be less than what has been specified by the Securities and Exchange Board under any regulations framed by it;
(i) where the transferor company is dissolved, the fee, if any, paid by the transferor company on its authorised capital shall be set-off against any fees payable by the transferee company on its authorised capital subsequent to the amalgamation; and
(j) such incidental, consequential and supplemental matters as are deemed necessary to secure that the merger or amalgamation is fully and effectively carried out:
Provided that no compromise or arrangement shall be sanctioned by the Tribunal unless a certificate by the company’s auditor has been filed with the Tribunal to the effect that the accounting treatment, if any, proposed in the scheme of compromise or arrangement is in conformity with the accounting standards prescribed under section 133.
(4) Effect of an order of tribunal:
Where an order under this section provides for the transfer of any property or liabilities, then, by virtue of the order, that property shall be transferred to the transferee company and the liabilities shall be transferred to and become the liabilities of the transferee company and any property may, if the order so directs, be freed from any charge which shall by virtue of the compromise or arrangement, cease to have effect.
(5)Filing of certified copy of order with registrar:
Every company in relation to which the order is made shall cause a certified copy of the order to be filed with the Registrar for registration within thirty days of the receipt of certified copy of the order.
(6) Effective date specified in scheme:
The scheme under this section shall clearly indicate an appointed date from which it shall be effective and the scheme shall be deemed to be effective from such date and not at a date subsequent to the appointed date.
(7) Filing of duly certified statement of compliance of scheme with registrar:
Every company in relation to which the order is made shall, until the completion of the scheme,
(8) In case of contravention:
If a transferor company or a transferee company contravenes the provisions of this section,
√ Fine: Minimum Rs. 1,00,000/- but Maximum Rs. 25,00,000/-and
√ imprisonment for a term which may extend to 1 year or
√ with fine Minimum Rs. 1,00,000/- but Maximum Rs. 3,00,000/– or
√ with both.
> Explanation: For the purposes of this section:
(i) in a scheme involving a merger, where under the scheme the undertaking, property and liabilities of one or more companies, including the company in respect of which the compromise or arrangement is proposed, are to be transferred to another existing company, it is a merger by absorption, or where the undertaking, property and liabilities of two or more companies, including the company in respect of which the compromise or arrangement is proposed, are to be transferred to a new company, whether or not a public company, it is a merger by formation of a new company;
(ii) references to merging companies are in relation to a merger by absorption, to the transferor and transferee companies, and, in relation to a merger by formation of a new company, to the transferor companies;
(iii) a scheme involves a division, where under the scheme the undertaking, property and liabilities of the company in respect of which the compromise or arrangement is proposed are to be divided among and transferred to two or more companies each of which is either an existing company or a new company; and
(iv) property includes assets, rights and interests of every description and liabilities include debts and obligations of every description.
♦ Section 233: Merger or Amalgamation of Certain Companies:
(1) Companies who may enter into scheme of Merger or Amalgamation:
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 230 and section 232, a scheme of merger or amalgamation may be entered into between:
as given in Rule 25 of the Companies (Compromises, Arrangements or Amalgamations) Rules, 2016, subject to the following, namely:
(a) a notice of the proposed scheme inviting objections or suggestions, if any, from the Registrar and Official Liquidators where registered office of the respective companies are situated or persons affected by the scheme within thirty days is issued by the transferor company or companies and the transferee company;
(b) the objections and suggestions received are considered by the companies in their respective general meetings and the scheme is approved by the respective members or class of members at a general meeting holding at least ninety per cent. of the total number of shares;
(c) each of the companies involved in the merger files a declaration of solvency, in the prescribed form, with the Registrar of the place where the registered office of the company is situated; and
(d) the scheme is approved by majority representing 9/10th in value of the creditors or class of creditors of respective companies indicated in a meeting convened by the company by giving a notice of 21 days along with the scheme to its creditors for the purpose or otherwise approved in writing.
(2) Filing a copy of the scheme with the Central Government, Registrar and the Official Liquidator:
The transferee company shall file a copy of the scheme so approved in the manner as may be prescribed, with the Central Government, Registrar and the Official Liquidator where the registered office of the company is situated.
(3) On the receipt of the scheme, if the Registrar or the Official Liquidator has no objections or suggestions to the scheme, the Central Government shall register the same and issue a confirmation thereof to the companies.
(4) If the Registrar or Official Liquidator has any objections or suggestions, he may communicate the same in writing to the Central Government within a period of 30 days:
Provided that if no such communication is made, it shall be presumed that he has no objection to the scheme.
(5) Filing of application by Central Government with tribunal:
If the Central Government after receiving,
it may file an application before the Tribunal within a period of 60 days of the receipt of the scheme under section 233(2) stating its objections and requesting that the Tribunal may consider the scheme under section 232.
(6) Passing of an order of tribunal:
On receipt of an application from the Central Government or from any person, if the Tribunal, for reasons to be recorded in writing,
Provided that if the Central Government,
(7) Communication of an order to registrar:
A copy of the order under section 233(6) confirming the scheme shall be:
(8) The registration of the scheme under section 233 (3) or (7) shall be deemed to have the effect of dissolution of the transferor company without process of winding-up.
(9) Effect of registration of the scheme:
The registration of the scheme shall have the following effects, namely:
(a) transfer of property or liabilities of the transferor company to the transferee company so that the property becomes the property of the transferee company and the liabilities become the liabilities of the transferee company;
(b) the charges, if any, on the property of the transferor company shall be applicable and enforceable as if the charges were on the property of the transferee company;
(c) legal proceedings by or against the transferor company pending before any court of law shall be continued by or against the transferee company; and
(d) where the scheme provides for purchase of shares held by the dissenting shareholders or settlement of debt due to dissenting creditors, such amount, to the extent it is unpaid, shall become the liability of the transferee company.
(10) Effect of merger and amalgamation on transferee:
A transferee company shall not on merger or amalgamation,
(11) Filing of an application by Transferee Company with the Registrar:
The transferee company shall file an application with the Registrar along with the scheme registered, indicating the revised authorised capital and pay the prescribed fees due on revised capital:
Provided that the fee, if any, paid by the transferor company on its authorised capital prior to its merger or amalgamation with the transferee company shall be set-off against the fees payable by the transferee company on its authorised capital enhanced by the merger or amalgamation.
(12) Applicability of the provisions:
The provisions of this section shall mutatis mutandis apply to
(13) The Central Government may provide for the merger or amalgamation of companies in such manner as may be prescribed.
(14) A company covered under this section may use the provisions of section 232 for the approval of any scheme for merger or amalgamation.
♦ Section 234: Merger or Amalgamation of Company with Foreign Company:
(1) The provisions of this Chapter unless otherwise provided under any other law for the time being in force, shall apply mutatis mutandis to schemes of mergers and amalgamations between companies registered under this Act and companies incorporated in the jurisdictions of such countries as may be notified from time to time by the Central Government:
Provided that the Central Government may make rules, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, in connection with mergers and amalgamations provided under this section
(2) Subject to the provisions of any other law for the time being in force,
the terms and conditions of the scheme of merger may provide, among other things,
as the case may be, as per the scheme to be drawn up for the purpose.
♦ Section 235: Power to Acquire Shares of Shareholders Dissenting from Scheme or Contract Approved by Majority:
(1) Basic requirements as to acquisition of shares:
Where a scheme or contract involving the transfer of shares or any class of shares in a company (the transferor company) to another company (the transferee company) has,
(2) Order of tribunal to acquire shares of dissenting shareholders:
Where a notice under section 235(1) is given, the transferee company shall, unless on an application made by the dissenting shareholder to the Tribunal,
(3) Application by dissenting shareholders:
Where a notice has been given by the transferee company under section 235(1) and the Tribunal has not, on an application made by the dissenting shareholder, made an order to the contrary, the transferee company shall, on the expiry of 1 month from the date on which the notice has been given, or,
the transferor company shall:
(a) thereupon register the transferee company as the holder of those shares; and
(b) within 1 month of the date of such registration, inform the dissenting shareholders of the fact of such registration and of the receipt of the amount or other consideration representing the price payable to them by the transferee company.
(4) Separate Bank account for disbursement to entitled shareholders:
Any sum received by the transferor company under this section shall be paid into a separate bank account, and any such sum and any other consideration so received shall be held by that company in trust for the several persons entitled to the shares in respect of which the said sum or other consideration were respectively received and shall be disbursed to the entitled shareholders within 60 days.
(5) Scheme/ contract made before the commencement of this Act:
In relation to an offer made by a transferee company to shareholders of a transferor company before the commencement of this Act, this section shall have effect with the following modifications, namely:
(a) in section 235(1), for the words “the shares whose transfer is involved other than shares already held at the date of the offer by, or by a nominee of, the transferee company or its subsidiaries,”, the words “the shares affected” shall be substituted; and
(b) in section235(3), the words “together with an instrument of transfer, to be executed on behalf of the shareholder by any person appointed by the transferee company and on its own behalf by the transferor company” shall be omitted.
> Explanation: For the purposes of this section, “dissenting shareholder” includes a shareholder who has not assented to the scheme or contract and any shareholder who has failed or refused to transfer his shares to the transferee company in accordance with the scheme or contract.
♦ Section 236: Purchase of Minority Shareholding:
(1) Notify to company for purchase of minority shareholding:
by virtue of an amalgamation, share exchange, conversion of securities or for any other reason, such acquirer, person or group of persons, as the case may be, shall notify the company of their intention to buy the remaining equity shares.
(2) Offer of Equity shares to minority shareholders by acquirer, person or group of persons:
The acquirer, person or group of persons under section 236(1) shall offer to the minority shareholders of the company for buying the equity shares held by such shareholders at a price determined on the basis of valuation by a registered valuer in accordance with rules 27.
(3) Offer of Equity shares to minority shareholders by acquirer, person or group of persons:
Without prejudice to the provisions of sections 236 (1) and (2), the minority shareholders of the company may offer to the majority shareholders to purchase the minority equity shareholding of the company at the price determined in accordance with rules 27.
(4) Deposit of amount in separate Bank account:
The majority shareholders shall deposit an amount equal to the value of shares to be acquired by them under section 236 (2) or (3), as the case may be, in a separate bank account to be operated by company whose shares are being transferred for at least 1 year for payment to the minority shareholders and such amount shall be disbursed to the entitled shareholders within 60 days:
Provided that such disbursement shall continue to be made to the entitled shareholders,
(5) Role of company whose shares are being transferred to act as a transfer agent in the event of purchase:
In the event of a purchase under this section,
(6) Company whose shares are being transferred to issue shares:
In the absence of a physical delivery of shares by the shareholders within the time specified by the company,
(7) Right of shareholders to make an offer for sale of minority equity shareholding:
In the event of a majority shareholder or shareholders requiring a full purchase and making payment of price by deposit with the company for
the right of such shareholders to make an offer for sale of minority equity shareholding shall continue and be available for a period of three years from the date of majority acquisition or majority shareholding.
(8) Sharing of additional compensation:
Where the shares of minority shareholders have been acquired in pursuance of this section and
the majority shareholders shall share the additional compensation so received by them with such minority shareholders on a pro rata basis.
♦ Explanation: For the purposes of this section, the expressions “acquirer” and “person acting in concert” shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in regulation 2 (1) (b) and (e) of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 1997.
(9) On failure of acquisition of shares:
When a shareholder or the majority equity shareholder fails to acquire full purchase of the shares of the minority equity shareholders, then, the provisions of this section shall continue to apply to the residual minority equity shareholders, even though:
(a) the shares of the company of the residual minority equity shareholder had been delisted; and
(b) the period of 1 year or the period specified in the regulations made by the SEBI under the SEBI Act, 1992, had elapsed.
♦ Section 237: Power of Central Government to Provide for Amalgamation of Companies in Public Interest:
(1) Central Government may by order provide for amalgamation in the public interest:
(2) Continuation by or against the transferee company of any legal proceedings:
The order under section 237(1) may also provide,
(3) Same Interest rights or compensation:
Every member or creditor, including a debenture holder, of each of the transferor companies before the amalgamation shall have, as nearly as may be,
(4) Appeal by aggrieved person on assessment of compensation:
Any person aggrieved by any assessment of compensation made by the prescribed authority under section 237(3) may, within a period of 30 days from the date of publication of such assessment in the Official Gazette, prefer an appeal to the Tribunal and thereupon the assessment of the compensation shall be made by the Tribunal.
(5) Requirements of passing of an order:
No order shall be made under this section unless:
(a) a copy of the proposed order has been sent in draft to each of the companies concerned;
(b) the time for preferring an appeal under section 237(4) has expired, or where any such appeal has been preferred, the appeal has been finally disposed off; and
(c) the Central Government has considered, and made such modifications, if any, in the draft order as it may deem fit in the light of suggestions and objections which may be received by it from any such company within such period as the Central Government may fix in that behalf, not being less than 2 months from the date on which the copy aforesaid is received by that company, or from any class of shareholders therein, or from any creditors or any class of creditors thereof.
(6) Copies to be presented to Parliament:
The copies of every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it has been made, be laid before each House of Parliament.
♦ Section 238: Registration of Offer of Schemes Involving Transfer of Shares:
(1) Registration of circular/offer involving Transfer of Shares:
In relation to every offer of a scheme or contract involving the transfer of shares or any class of shares in the transferor company to the transferee company under section 235:
(a) every circular containing such offer and recommendation to the members of the transferor company by its directors to accept such offer shall be accompanied by such information and in such manner as may be prescribed;
(b) every such offer shall contain a statement by or on behalf of the transferee company, disclosing the steps it has taken to ensure that necessary cash will be available; and
(c) every such circular shall be presented to the Registrar for registration and no such circular shall be issued until it is so registered:
Provided that the Registrar may refuse, for reasons to be recorded in writing, to register any such circular which does not contain the information required to be given under clause (a) or which sets out such information in a manner likely to give a false impression, and communicate such refusal to the parties within 30 days of the application.
(2) Appeal against the order of the registrar:
An appeal shall lie to the Tribunal against an order of the Registrar refusing to register any circular under section 238(1).
(3) In case of failure of registration:
The director who issues a circular which has not been presented for registration and registered under section 238(1)(c),
♦ Section 239: Preservation of Books and Papers of Amalgamated Companies:
The books and papers of a company which has been amalgamated with, or whose shares have been acquired by, another company under this Chapter shall,
♦ Section 240: Liability of Officers in Respect of Offences Committed Prior to Merger, Amalgamation, etc.:
Retrospective effect of liability:
Notwithstanding anything in any other law for the time being in force, the liability in respect of offences committed under this Act by the officers in default, of the transferor company prior to its merger, amalgamation or acquisition shall continue after such merger, amalgamation or acquisition.
Informative: If you like the article kindly comment and if required any improvement kindly message me. You can contact me at mail id: [email protected]
Disclaimer: The entire content of this document have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, Author assumes no responsibility thereof. The user of the information agrees that the information is not a professional advice and is subject to change without notice. In no event, we shall be liable for any direct, indirect, special or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of or in connection with the use of information.