Competition Commission fines AMMA, FEFKA office-bearers for isolating Vinayan

Saturday, Mar 25, 2017,12:19 IST By joji A A A

New Delhi | In a rare instance, the Competition Commission Friday penalised a sitting Lok Sabha MP with respect to unfair business practices by a Kerala-based film association where he is the president.

The regulator has imposed a fine of little over Rs 51,000 on Innocent, an independent MP and the long-serving president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).

The association, along with the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), FEFKA Director’s Union, FEFKA Production Executive’s Union and some of their office bearers, has also been fined.

A total penalty of more than Rs 11.25 lakh has been imposed on these entities, including the office-bearers, according to a CCI order.

All of them have also been directed to “cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct”.

After a detailed investigation, the CCI found that AMMA, FEFKA, FEFKA Director’s Union, FEFKA Production Executive’s Union indulged in anti-competitive practices.

The ruling has come on a complaint filed by film director T G Vinayakumar who had alleged that these associations allegedly tried to force various actors, technicians, producers and financiers not to work or associate with him in any of his project.

The regulator said FEFKA was a mighty organisation in the Malayalam film industry consisting of 17 sub-unions engaged in different facets of film-making.

“… due to the ban imposed by FEFKA and AMMA on the informant (Vinayakumar), many of the artistes and technicians were not able to deal with the informant or any other non- member.

“Such anti-competitive practice was held to have an appreciable adverse effect on the Malayalam film industry,” said a release issued by the CCI.

Penalties totaling Rs 9,28,674 has been imposed on the four groupings while the fine on the respective office-bearers is to the tune of Rs 1,96,710.

A fine of Rs 51,478 has been imposed on Innocent while the penalty on AMMA’s Secretary Edavela Babu is Rs 19,113.

The fine on Sibi Malayil is Rs 66,356; B Unnikrishnan (Rs 32,026) and K Mohanan (Rs 27,737), the CCI said.

Malayil and Unnikrishnan are the president and the general secretary of FEFKA. Mohanan is the General Secretary of FEFKA Production Executive’s Union, as per the CCI order.

In the case, AMMA faces a fine of Rs 4,00,065, FEFKA Rs 85,594, FEFKA Director’s Union Rs 3,86,354 and FEFKA Production Executive’s Union Rs 56,661.

These amounts are calculated at the rate of five per cent of their respective average income.