CCI slaps Rs 52.24 cr penalty on BCCI for anti-competitive practices

CCI slaps Rs 52.24 cr penalty on BCCI for anti-competitive practices

The Competition Commission on Wednesday imposed Rs 52.24 crore fine on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for indulging in anti-competitive practices by assuring the IPL broadcaster that no other such tournaments would be organised here for a period of 10 years.

It held that the restriction put by the BCCI after being in dominant position had no nexus to the legitimate interest of cricket in the country. Rather, it was done to enhance the commercial interest of the bidders of IPL broadcasting rights and the consideration in turn received by BCCI.

The commission directed the BCCI to take all possible measures to ensure that competition was not impeded while preserving the objective of development of cricket in the country.

"BCCI shall not place a 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," the commission said in its 44-page order.

It said the penalty of Rs 52.24 crore comes to nearly 4.48 per cent of the average of the BCCI's relevant turnover during the last three financial years. The average turnover of Rs 1,164.7 crore is for three financial years -- 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The commission rejected a plea by the cricket board that BCCI being a not-for-profit organisation and its revenue being ploughed back into cricket are mitigating factors in its favour, saying these are general features of any sports federation.

The commission made an initial ruling in 2013 that the BCCI's deal with Sony was illegal.

The cricket body won a court order forcing a review of the case. But the commission's new ruling came to the same conclusion and ordered the same fine.

The BCCI had pleaded that bidders for the television deal had insisted on the no-competition clause.

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