Bollywood’s shocker of a case – an A-list actor taking the legal route to accuse an A-list production house of unfair, monopolistic business practices over a Diwali release – has been decided. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) passed an order in Delhi on Monday night deciding that the practices of Yash Raj Films that were described as unfair and monopolistic by Ajay Devgn Ffilms, were not violative of sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act.
What does that mean? Round one goes to YRF. Ajay Devgn Ffilms had filed a case with the CCI, alleging that YRF had used their dominant position in the market to unfairly corner a large number of single screens for JTHJ, leaving few for SOS. At the time of the release of Ek Tha Tiger, YRF had, in return for supplying ETT, made many single screen theatres sign an agreement that they would only screen JTHJ during Diwali.
But in their order on November 5, the CCI stated they didn’t think this was monopolistic. These are their arguments: They didn’t see how this causes “appreciable adverse effect on Competition in India”. It doesn’t restrict the entry of new players into the market, it doesn’t drive any existing player out of the market, it does not deprive the ultimate consumers, the viewers, of any benefits. The order says single screen theatres took a business decision by signing the agreement – they knew there were going to be other films releasing during Diwali, and they were free not to sign.
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