CCI Barred from Coercive Action till Jurisdiction Cleared: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court (‘HC’), in writ petitions filed by Asianet Star Communications Private Limited, Disney Broadcasting (India) Private Limited, Star India Private Limited against Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) and Asianet Digital Network (P) Ltd (‘ADNPL’), directed CCI to not permit or direct any coercive action against petitioners until the next hearing. Further, the Director General (‘DG’) of CCI is directed to keep all the information confidential.

The writs came against an order of CCI, u/s- 26(1), directing the DG to investigate the petitioners’ conduct on alleged anti-competitive practices. The petitioners’ contention was that the complaint was related to The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, whereby according to proviso of Section 7(4) “…offer of discounts, if any, to distributors of television channels, shall be on the basis of fair, transparent and non-discriminatory terms”, therefore, it should have been first placed before Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.