Competition Commission of India (CCI): Already litigating before the Competition Appellate Tribunal, to avoid penalty imposed by CCI for abuse of dominance in spare part market, Hyundai got escape from examination of its conducts in market of Sports/ Multi Utility Vehicles (SUV) under the provisions of section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. The competition regulator CCI closed a case against Hyundai for alleged abuse of dominant position in SUV market and entering into anti-competitive agreements. The informant alleged that Hyundai collected Rs.900/- crores (approx.) through booking from the customers without providing details of the product (Hyundai Creta) i.e. price, availability, mode of allotment/ sale, waiting period, variants, service procedure, policy regarding cancellation of booking etc. He alleged that the conduct of Hyundai in adopting unfair means to collect the booking amount for the said vehicle which was not launched in the market, has appreciably affected the business of other SUV and car manufacturers. It advised its authorized dealers to retain the booking amount aggregating till the launch of the said vehicle. Hyundai has engaged in a cartel like behaviour with its dealers in violation of the provisions of section 3(3) of the Act.
The Commission observed that existence of good number of automobile players with comparable size and resources as well as the capability of manufacturing differentiated car models in terms of price, design, type of fuel, engine displacement, distributor network, after sale service etc. indicates that there exists choice for the consumers in the relevant market. CCI found it difficult to appreciate that Hyundai enjoys any market power which can enable it to operate independent of competitive forces. On the issue of cartel with dealers, CCI held that the informant failed to place any material on record to show agreement between Hyundai and its dealers. The commission closed the case at primary stage with the view that information is devoid of any merit as the same does not disclose any competition issue which can be examined within the ambit of section 3 or 4 of the Competition Act. [Arvind Sood v. Hyundai Motor India,  CCI 147 decided on 29.09.2015]