Antitrust case against Shikshantar School, Gurgaon is closed prima facie

Competition Commission of India: CCI, not
finding prima facie violation of S. 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, closed a
case against Shikshantar
School for alleged
anti-competitive activities. The informant parents had alleged that after
withdrawal of admission of their child the school was not refunding the fee
paid by them for child’s education. It was averred that they were forced to
withdraw admission because the school was not providing proper conveyance
facility and due care and safety to children during traveling time.  They averred that such unfair trade practice
would cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition in the field of
primary education in India
and particularly, in rich circles like Gurgaon within the meaning of sections 3
and 4 of the Act. As per the information Shikshantarr School
could afford to a non-competitive attitude towards the Informant because of its
backing by Unitech which is a real estate giant.

Commission observed that the the dispute in question relates to the provision
of school education services wherein school is the service provider (supply
side of education service) and the Informant is a consumer (demand side of the
education service market). It further considered Gurgaon as relevant geographic
market as the parents who are residing in Gurgaon and looking for admission for
their child in schools in Gurgaon may not prefer areas other than Gurgaon for
admission of their child because of factors such as distance, transportation
time etc. The relevant market was considered as the “market of the
provision of school education services in Gurgaon”. The Commission found that there are around 125 more schools functioning
in Gurgaon which indicates that the parents had options to admit the Informant
in other schools and they do not seem to be completely dependent on Shikshantar
for school education services. It opined that Shikshantar School
is not dominant in the relevant market; therefore, it cannot be scanned under
S. 4 for abuse of dominant position. Further, in non-disclosure of any kind of agreement
that can be termed as anti-competitive in terms of any of the provisions of S. 3
of the Act there exists not prima facie case. [In re: Baby Nandini Garg and Management of Shikshantar School,
Case No. 78 of 2015; decided
on 29.09.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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