CCI to address sports federations' competition issues

The regulator keeps a tab across sectors against anti-competitive ways and in the past have also clamped down on such practices related to various sports. Photo/Twitter (@CCI_India)

Anti-trust watchdog CCI plans to hold interactions with stakeholders in the sports sector to address competition concerns in connection with sports federations without disturbing the essential elements of their "self-regulatory" frameworks.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta said that, of late, the regulator has come across numerous matters relating to the sports sector involving competition concerns.

"A major issue is that some federations, that also play a key role in the selection of players for national teams, have restrictions that do not allow other bodies to organise tournaments," he told PTI.

The regulator keeps a tab across sectors against anti-competitive ways and in the past have also clamped down on such practices related to various sports.

In some cases, Gupta said the players are also restricted from playing in tournaments organised by others.

"The Commission is proposing to hold a sectoral workshop in this area which will provide an opportunity to various stakeholders to express and exchange views on relevant issues.

"The workshop will amongst other things provide insights into how more competition can be infused across the sports sector without disturbing the essential elements of the self-regulatory framework," he noted.

As part of larger efforts to promote competition, the CCI also carries out studies about various sectors and is set to start such an exercise for the telecom sector next month.

Besides, the watchdog will look at pharmaceutical and healthcare space. It had come out with a policy note titled 'Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare' in October last year.

"In the coming months, the Commission would like to revisit the sector to review the ground position in light of the recommendations made and issues highlighted," Gupta said.

So far, the regulator has handled over 1,000 anti-trust cases across diverse sectors. 

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