The Competition Commission has dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance against K Sera Sera Digital Cinema and seven other entities with regard to supply of equipment used for the purpose of film exhibition.
The others are Viacom 18, AdityaChowksey, UFO Movies India, E-City Digital Cinema, Real Image Media Technology, United Media Works and the Film and TV Producers Guild of India.
The complaint was made by a Madhya Pradesh-based cinema hall proprietor, who had entered into an agreement with K Sera Sera, wherein the latter had agreed to install all the necessary Digital Cinema Equipment (DCE) required for the purposes of screening films at the former's theatre premises.
It was alleged that K Sera Sera had abused its dominant position by unlawfully terminating the agreement and that the Film & TV Producers Guild had done the same by issuing diktats to all producers to not deal with the complainant.
For the case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) considered the market for the “provision of Digital Cinema Equipment services for the purpose of screening/ exhibiting films in India”, as the relevant one.
Noting that there are various other players in the relevant market offering DCE, the fair-trade regulator said K Sera Sera “does not seem to hold a dominant position” in it.
In the absence of dominance, no case of abuse of dominance in contravention of Section 4 of the Competition Act can be made out K Sera Sera, CCI said in its order dated December 29. Section 4 relates to abuse of dominant market position.
The fair-trade regulator also said that the dispute between the complainant and K Sera Sera for alleged unlawful termination of the agreement by the latter primarily appears to be a contractual dispute, for which the former “may approach an appropriate forum”.
With regard to the allegation against the Film and TV Producers Guild, CCI noted that there is no evidence to substantiate the same.
Observing that there does not seem to be any material on record to establish that the Film and TV Producers Guild had issued any oral or written diktat to any producer, CCI said there is nothing in the information to form an adverse prima facie view against it.
The complainant had also alleged that the eight entities had prevented him from carrying on his business by abusing their dominant position in respect of supply of equipment to be installed in cinema theatre, in contravention of the provisions of Section 4.
Rejecting the allegation of collective abuse of dominant position, CCI said the Competition Act does not allow for more than one entity to hold a dominant position within the meaning of Section 4. The argument of the complainant regarding the collective anti-competitive conduct by the eight entities is rejected, CCI said. – Daily Pioneer