Vishwaroopam: CCI to probe Kamal Haasan's complaint

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 03:53 hrs

Finding prima facie evidence of abuse of dominant market position, the Competition Commission has decided to investigate actor-director Kamal Haasan's complaint against Tamil Nadu theatre owners for allegedly restricting release of his film Vishwaroopam.

"We have decided to refer the complaint (by Kamal Haasan) to our Director General (DG) for investigation," a senior CCI official told PTI.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is, however, unlikely to provide interim relief to the actor in the case, the official added.

The order directing the DG to investigate the case is likely to be issued soon.

Another CCI official said the 'Vishwaroopam' issue is a "fit case for investigation".

Haasan's Rajkamal Films International had scheduled release of 'Vishwaroopam' first on DTH platform on January 10. Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, however, opposed this and threatened that they would not release the movie in theatres.

Earlier this month, Rajkamal Films had moved CCI against Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners' Association.

Once prima facie evidence of violations of competition rules are found, CCI refers the case to the Director General -- its investigation arm -- for further probe.

This is the second instance in less than three months a film personality is moving the fair trade regulator after Bollywood star Ajay Devgn.

In November last year, CCI had rejected cine star Ajay Devgn's complaint against Yash Raj Films (YRF) for alleged abuse of dominant position in Hindi film industry, as the regulator did not find any violations of competition norms.

Ajay Devgn Films Pvt Ltd had alleged that YRF was using its dominant position to ask exhibitors to dedicate more screens to its upcoming release, 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan', than for release of his film 'Son of Sardaar' on November 13.

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