Sunday, November 4, 2012

Are you still being charged more by the Multiplexes for cold drinks???

Multiplexes cannot over charge for cold drinks, etc."  directed by  Competition Commission of India in a case UTPE-99/2009 & RTPE-16/2009 on23rd May 2011 under Section 27 of the Competition Act:

1) M/s Inox Leisure Limited and M/s Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd are directed to immediately stop from charging discriminatory prices from the customers.

2) The discriminatory conditions mentioned in the agreement dated 10.06.2008 and any other subsequent agreement to this effect be changed immediately to allow other competitors of the same product within the premises of multiplex owned by ILL.

3) A penalty of 5% of the average of the turnover for the last three preceding financial years is imposed upon M/s ILL and HCCBPL for deliberately entering into exclusive supply agreement to foreclose the competition and driving the competitors out of the market.

The above directions have been issued on two separate complaints against  Ms/ Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (HCCBPL)  and  Inox Leisure Limited (ILL). The complaints alleged:  

 1. That HCCBPL has been impudently indulging in blatant restrictive and unfair trade practices contrary to the explicit provisions in MRTP Act, 1969 and Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has entered into an understanding with INOX Leisure Private Limited  In pursuance of the said agreement, HCCBPL has been supplying some of its products which include, interalia, the packaged drinking water and soft drinks at an inflated and exorbitant price and in sharp variance with ordinary price of these products in any prevailing market and thereby the company is wantonly enforcing two pricing for the same products of same quality, quantity, standard and package.

2. That HCCBPL has been supplying 500 ml water bottles and 400 ml orange pulp soft drinks at a M.R.P. of Rs.20/- and Rs.40/- respectively, though these products are available in any prevailing market at Rs.10/- and 25/- respectively. HCCBPL printed these MRPs on these products in order to deceive and induce the consumers to believe that the products are being sold at the M.R.P. fixed by the manufacturer.    

3. That ILL is selling the products of HCCBPL only and to that extent the consumer's right to choice is violated. Thus, the consumers' right to have access to a variety of goods at a competitive price is infringed by the company by enforcing its vertical restrictive trade agreement with INOX Leisure Limited. Thus HCCBPL is enforcing two different prices for the same products of the same quality, quantity, standard, and package without any difference of whatsoever.  

4.  That HCCBL has entered into an agreement with M/s INOX Leisure Private Limited (ILL) which operates multiplexes and screens in various cities. In pursuance of the agreement, HCCBPL has been supplying beverages at an inflated and exorbitant price in comparison to the price of these products in the ordinary market. Therefore, HCCBPL is enforcing two different prices for the identical products. Such an agreement between HCCBPL and ILL is anti-competitive as ILL is selling products of HCCBPL only no choice to the consumer is available inside the multiplex and theatres.

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