CCI finds BCCI guilty of anti-competitive conduct, imposes penalty of Rs. 52.24 crore on it

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) guilty of anti-competitive conduct and imposed a fine of Rs. 52.24 crore on it.
An official press release said the CCI had found BCCI to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 4(1) read with Section 4(2)(c) of the Competition Act, 2002 for its assurance to the broadcasters of Indian Premier League (IPL) that BCCI shall not organize, sanction, recognize, or support another professional domestic Indian T20 competition that is competitive to IPL, for a sustained period of ten years. 
After a detailed investigation by its Director General, CCI found that BCCI enjoys a dominant position in the market for organisation of professional domestic cricket leagues and events in India.
"Based on the nature of activities performed, BCCI has been held as an enterprise and thus, would come under the purview of the Act. While recognising the role of sports federation in taking measures to serve the integrity or development of the sport, CCI held that the impugned restriction had no nexus to the legitimate interest of cricket in the country. Rather, the restriction was pursued to enhance the commercial interest of the bidders of IPL broadcasting rights and the consideration in turn received by BCCI. Therefore, the impugned restriction has been held to be in contravention of Section 4(1) read with Section 4(2)(c) of the Act," an official press release said.
Accordingly, CCI directed that BCCI shall cease and desist from indulging into the conduct that is found to be in contravention of Section 4 of the Act.
It also directed that BCCI shall not place blanket restriction on organisation of professional domestic cricket league/ events by non-members. This shall, however, not preclude BCCI from stipulating conditions while framing/ modifying relevant rules for approval or while granting specific approvals, that are necessary to serve the interest of the sport. Such changes shall entail norms that underpin principles of non-discrimination and shall be applied in a fair, transparent and equitable manner.
Having done the above, BCCI shall issue appropriate clarification regarding the rules applicable for organisation of professional domestic cricket leagues/ events in India, either by members of BCCI or by third parties, as well as the parameters based on which applications can be made and would be considered. Besides, BCCI shall take all possible measure(s) to ensure that competition is not impeded while preserving the objective of development of cricket in the country, the order said.
"BCCI shall file a report to the Commission on the compliance of the aforesaid directions ... within a period of 60 days from the receipt of CCI’s order. 
"A penalty of INR 52.24 crore has also been imposed on BCCI for indulging into the anticompetitive conduct," the release added.


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