BCCI moves Competition Appellate Tribunal against CCI

Last Updated: Wed, May 01, 2013 15:26 hrs

Mumbai: Cricket body Board Of Control For Cricket In India has moved the Competition Appellate Tribunal challenging imposition of Rs 52.24 crore on it by fair trade regulator CCI for allegedly adopting anti-competitive practices.

A petition by BCCI is scheduled to come up for hearing on May 5 before a three-member bench of the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT).

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on February 8 this year penalised BCCI after finding it guilty of abuse of its dominant position and passed a "cease and desist" order asking it to refrain itself from such practices in future.

The fair trade regulator held that the Indian cricket board indulged in anti-competitive practices by denying market access to potential competitors, including inclusion of similar clauses in any future agreement.

"...the abuse by BCCI was of a grave nature and the quantum of penalty that needs to be levied should be commensurate with the gravity of the violation," CCI had said in its order imposing penalty.

CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs 52.24 crore on BCCI.

CCI had acted on the basis of a complaint filed by a city-based individual Surinder Singh Barmi against BCCI in November 2010. His allegations were based on issues related to IPL and a professional cricket league tournament conducted by BCCI.

Among others, the complainant had alleged irregularities in the grant of franchise rights for team ownership, media rights for coverage of the league and award of sponsorship rights.

Noting that BCCI's economic power is enormous "as a regulator that enables it to pick winners", the regulator said the cricket board has gained tremendously in financial terms from the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket format.

"Virtually, there is no other competitor in the market nor was anyone allowed to emerge due to BCCI's strategy of monopolising the entire market," CCI had said in its order.

The policy of BCCI to keep out other competitors and to use their position as a defacto regulatory body has prevented many players who could have opted for the competitive league, it added.

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