CCI rejects Devgn’s allegation of YRF abusing dominant position

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has rejected the plea of actor-producer Ajay Devgn against Yash Raj Films (YRF) for their alleged abuse of dominant position ahead of release of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ).

Devgn alleged that YRF was abusing its dominant position and was asking exhibitors to provide more screens to their release than for his film Son of Sardaar.

Both the films will be released this Diwali, November 13, 2012.

"We considered the plea application. We have not found any merit in the case as there is no case of abuse of dominant position. This is a case of first comer. That can not be held against them (YRF). Hence there is no violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act," an official source told the Indian Express. The orders for the same will be issued soon, the official said.

Earlier, last week, the Delhi High Court had asked the CCI to expeditiously decide the complaint by Ajay Devgn Films not getting enough single-screen theatres due to YRF abusing its position.

YRF had apparently told the exhibitors that it will give Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger only if they agreed to give its Diwali release prominence over other films.

However, the production house, YRF, denied the allegations, arguing that a Yash Chopra-Shah Rukh Khan movie, coming after a gap of eight years, did not need any coercion for contractual screening.

Devgn Films lawyers in statement had said, "YRF has entered into a tie-in arrangement with the exhibitors in a manner that it has made it compulsory for the exhibitors to exhibit the untitled movie of YRF on Diwali day and two weeks thereafter with all four shows." They added that such a tie-in arrangement in the present circumstances violates Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.

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