CCI penalises Kerala’s theatre owners, film distributors assocs

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015,22:44 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Competition Commission has slapped a total penalty of over Rs 1 lakh on Kerala’s two associations of theatre owners and film distributors for indulging in unfair business practices.
The fair trade regulator has penalised Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) and Film Distributors Association, Kerala (FDA).
By controlling and limiting the distribution of movies to pre-determined release centres in Kerala through an agreement, the two groupings have been found violating competition norms, an official release said today.
While a fine of Rs 56,134 has been imposed on KFEF, the penalty on FDA amounts to Rs 45,189.
Financial penalties have also been slapped on the President and General Secretary of KFEF and FDA as they were actively involved in the affairs of their respective associations. They were also responsible for the anti- competitive decision making by their respective associations, the release said.
The complaint was filed by another grouping Kerala Cine Exhibitors Association (KCEA), which had alleged that the two groupings were not allowing screening of new films in the theatres owned by its members.
A detailed investigation revealed that the conduct of KFEF and FDA in agreeing on the number of theatres where the new movies would be released resulted in restricting/ limiting the release of such movies, the release said.
The probe was carried out by the Director General (DG) of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
KFEF ensured that despite having necessary infrastructure and appropriate classification/grading from the committee appointed by the government of Kerala, the theatres owned by members of the informant (KCEA) were not getting fresh releases/ new movies.
It was observed by CCI that any industry player who flouted the said mandate of KFEF was boycotted by the members of KFEF, the release said.