- Sagar Associates (JSA)acted as the legal advisor toCinepolis India Private Limited (Cinepolis) in relation to the complaint filed by Unilazer Ventures Private Limited (Complainant) before the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The Complainant alleged that multiplex operators, such as, PVR Limited, Inox Leisure Limited, Cinepolis, Carnival Motion Pictures Private Limited (collectively referred to as ‘Opposite Parties’) formed a cartel inter se or under the aegis of FICCI Multiplex Association of India, inter-alia, for: (i) undue imposition of virtual print fee; (ii) imposing non-negotiable revenue sharing terms; (iii) delay in advances and payments made to content companies; and (iv) lack of transparency regarding the advertising and promotion policy during the exhibition of a film.
The CCI observed that the Complainant failed to place on record any agreement between the Opposite Parties, which evidences meeting of minds. As such, mere alleged parallel conduct in an oligopolistic market is not sufficient to prima facie establish a cartel amongst the Opposite Parties warranting an investigation. The CCI observed that the Complainant must discharge the initial burden of proof to warrant an investigation by the CCI. Accordingly, the CCI dismissed the complaint.
JSA team comprised Partners – Amitabh Kumar and Vaibhav Choukse; Principal Associate – Unnati Agrawal and Associate – Parth Sehan