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Competition Commission of India (CCI) makes itself a Laughing Stock by imposing a pitifully small fine on Film Producers for Cartelizaiton

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India’s new anti monopoly watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has belatedly started operations and its first few orders hardly inspire much confidence.Note most of the developed countries like USA and European Union have highly developed and advanced competition regulators which impose hundreds of millions in fines against domestic and international companies who indulge in anti-market practises.The huge fines serve as a great deterrence where powerful corporates try to undermine the market forces through their sheer size.The landmark anti monopoly legal cases against Microsoft,LCD companies have proved to be very effective in punishing super powerful businesses who have shafted consumers through illegal practises.

India has become large economy and it needs effective competition regulators against the giant conglomerates which manage to subvert the governing forces in the country.Many of the  country’s top telecom and other regulators are nothing but stooges for these companies.Not that India is the only country where business interests have effectively captured regulation.Even in the USA,the BP Oil Spill was caused as the oil and gas regulator was found to be nothing more than a puppet for the very powerful oil and gas giants.The CCI has fined the Indian film producers Rs 1 lakh for colluding and forcing the theater owners to agree to their demands.Note Rs 1 lakh is equal to roughly $2200 which is a pittance especially when you compare it to the earnings of these film producers.They would be rolling with laughter at the amount of the fine and this fine will never have a deterrent effect on further cartelization and collusion activities in the film industry.Further other industries will think the newly formed CCI to be a toothless regulator and will not stop their monopolistic practises.For CCI to not only be effective but look effective it must impose punishment which serves a purpose instead of making itself a laughing stock

CCI fines 27 film producers for colluding through cartel

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today imposed a penalty of Rs one lakh each on 27 film producers on charges of colluding through a cartel to exploit theatre owners.The CCI imposed the fine on filmmakers after having found them guilty of entering into anti-competitive agreement.

The issue pertains to the strike in 2009 by film producers who decided not to screen their movies in multiplexes over payment matters.”They have been found having violated section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act 2002, which pertains to anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominant position,” a CCI official told PTI.


Abhishek Shah

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