Termination from service without any disciplinary enquiry violates PNJ: SC

The Supreme Court (SC), while dealing with an appeal filed by an ex-employee of the GB Pant Institute, Ghurdauri, challenging his termination from service, on the ground of it being issued without, undertaking any enquiry or opportunity to show cause, has held that, the termination of the services “without holding disciplinary enquiry was totally unjustified and de hors the requirements of law and in gross violation of principles of natural justice”. The SC while quashing the termination order passed by the concerned authority, directed reinstatement of the employee.

NCLAT sets aside CIRP of Dream11’s parent company – Sporta Technology

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), in an appeal filed by a Suspended Director of Sporta Technology (Corporate Debtor – CD) against the order initiating Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of the CD passed by the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai (NCLT-M), has held that, since the application for initiating CIRP mentions the date of default as March, 2020, the same is hit by rigorous of Section 10A of the IBC, 2016. The NCLAT noting that since the entire claim falls within the time period as prescribed under section 10A of the IBC, 2016, has set aside the order passed by the NCLT-M.

JFTC initiates probe into Google conduct in online advertising

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has initiated a probe against Google, which has been alleged to be abusing its dominant position, by limiting the operations of rivals like – LY Corporation (LYC) & Yahoo Japan (Yahoo), in the online advertising market. It has been alleged that Google unilaterally made a request to LYC & Yahoo to halt part of their online advertising business for a certain period of time, in consideration of receiving technical assistance from Google for “keyword-targeted” online advertising service. The JFTC suspects Google’s conduct to be in violation of Japan’s antimonopoly law.

ZEE withdraws its merger enforcement application with Sony from NCLT

ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEE) has announced its decision to withdraw the merger enforcement application, filed before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai (NCLT-M) for implementation of proposed merger with Culver Max Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (Sony). ZEE-Sony merger was announced back in 2021, which was later called-off by Sony. Thereafter, ZEE approached the NLCT-M seeking enforcement of the merger, which was allowed by NCLT-M in 2023. However, ZEE has now decided not to pursue the merger, citing growth & other strategic opportunities for maximum shareholder value generation.

Hunter Douglas’s acquisition of Erfal called off due to antitrust concerns

The German Competition Regulator (Bundeskartellamt) has pointed out significant antitrust concerns in the proposed acquisition by Hunter Douglas GmbH, Düsseldorf (Hunter) of erfal GmbH & Co. KG, Falkenstein/Vogtland (Erfal). Hunter is a global manufacturer & a dominant player in the “market of systems used to produce interior window coverings”, especially window shades. In Germany, Hunter sells its systems & fabrics to fitters like Erfal. According to Bundeskartellamt, a consolidation between a manufacturer & consumer in the downstream market would have allowed Hunter to gain incentive to disadvantage its German competitors competing with erfal in the downstream market. Noting these concerns, the deal is being called off by the parties.

EU & Japan gives approval to fashion brand(s) Coach-Michael Kors deal

The regulatory authorities in the EU & Japan gave their clearance to the proposed acquisition of Capri Holdings (Capri) by Tapestry. Tapestry’s portfolio includes luxury apparel brands like Coach, Kate Spade & Stuart Weitzman, while, Capri owns brands like Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo & Versace. The acquisition will lead to consolidation of these luxury brands, to compete more effectively with the luxury brands’ behemoth – LVMH Group.

KFTC directs Samsung to correct its interference in its retail stores

The Korean Federal Trade Commission (KFTC) has issued a direction to Samsung Electronics (Samsung) to take corrective steps to curb Samsung’s meddling with business operations of its authorised retail stores. According to KFTC, it was alleged that Samsung, starting from January 2017 through September 2023, compelled its authorised retailers to disclose the retail price information of 15,389 products, including refrigerators and washing machines, to Samsung. KFTC further pointed out that such an interference violates, the “fairness” objective under Korea’s franchise transactions act.

CCI dismissed case against NABL

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed a case filed against National (NABL) for imposing instructions by the asking Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB), accredited to NABL, to convert from sole proprietorship to any other form of entity under the Companies Act, 2013. As per the information, CABs testing required accreditation from testing authorities like NABL. However, NABL, being the oldest with 90% market share & preference accorded to it by the departments of the Government, has become a dominant player. However, the CCI noting the commonality of case with Prem Prakash &NABL case, applied the similar reasoning & dismissed the case.

Investment for profit/gain outside the purview of Consumer Protection Act, 1986: SC

The Supreme Court (SC) in an appeal against the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) while dealing with the issue of whether investment made for profit or gain is susceptible to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Fora, has held that commercial disputes of this nature can appropriately be decided by the civil court & not in a summary proceeding under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The SC, while allowing the appeal, noted that the respondent had invested in appellant’s firm which is an investment for profit/gain – a commercial transaction.

DHC directed Lava to pay ₹244 crore to Ericsson for infringing its 2G & 3G patents

The Delhi High Court (DHC) while dealing with cross suits filed by Lava International Ltd. (Lava) & Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) in relation to access to 8 standard essential patents (SEP) in relation to 2G & 3G Technology, has held Lava to be an “unwilling licensee” owing to its failure to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith, delaying negotiations & failing to respond to offers. The DHC noting Lava at fault held Ericsson to be liable to receive damages in relation to its SEPs on the basis of “loss of royalty/license fees it would have received had Lava executed a FRAND license agreement at the commencement of its business operations.”