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HC quashes CCI’s probe order against Star, Sony Tv and IBF over alleged price discrimination

October 22, 2019[2019] 110 taxmann.com 402 (Bombay)
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COMPETITION LAW : Where CCI passed impugned orders exercising powers under section 26(1) directing Director General to initiate and conduct an investigation to ascertain whether or not petitioner, i.e., Star, Sony and IBF had indulged in refusal to deal by way of discrimination with Noida Software Technology Pvt. Ltd. (NSTPL) in contravention of provisions of section 3(4), it was held that in impugned order, in order to hold a prima facie contravention of section 3(4), CCI ought to have formed a prima facie view that there existed an agreement either between Star/Sony and NSTPL which provided for a refusal to product, supply, distribute, store or trade in goods or provision of services with/to NSTPL and that such agreement caused appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC), however, there was no finding that petitioners had refused to product, supply, distribute, store or trade in goods or provision of services with/to NSTPL and, therefore, mandatory jurisdictional pre-requisite of a prima facie view of contravention of section 3(4) being absent impugned order passed by CCI and all consequent actions/notices of Director General were quashed and set aside

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