Competition Commission of India (CCI): The Bench comprising of Sudhir Mital, Chairperson and Augustine Peter, U.C. Nahta and G.P. Mittal, Members, while addressing information being filed under Section 19(1)(a) for contravention of provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, found no prima facie case made out.
In the present matter the factual matrix of the case stands out in the following manner, the Informant has alleged OP-Timex Group India Ltd. of indulging in anti-competitive conduct/practices. Informant was responsible for selling OP’s wrist watches on e-commerce platforms. The following were the allegations placed against the OP:
- OP is indulging in Resale Price Maintenance with its distributors in contravention of Section 3 (4)(e) of the Competition Act, 2002.
- OP discriminated the Informant against other e-commerce players by limiting the market for distribution of the OP and in violation of Sections 3(3)(a), 3(3)(b) and 3(3)(c) of the Competition Act, 2002.
- OP instructed its retailers/service centres against providing after-sale services to the wrist watches being sold by the Informant, which resulted in the deprivation of consumer service in contravention of Section 3(4)(d) of the Act.
- OP has also been alleged to file a frivolous suit against Informant saying that OP is engaged in manufacturing of counterfeit wrist watches of the OP.
- Agreements entered between the OP and its dealers/distributors created an appreciable adverse effect on competition in contravention of Sections 4 and 3 of the Act.
The Commission on perusal of the allegations been placed upon and conducting an exhaustive hearing with multiple dates for the same and going through in-depth proceedings by patiently taking up the contentions of both the parties and explaining its own stance on the allegations, Commission found no contravention of the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 and ordered the matter to be closed under Section 26 (2) of the Act. [Counfreedise v. Timex Group India Ltd.,2018 SCC OnLine CCI 67, Order dated 14-08-2018]