Penalty imposed on Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation and its key personals for anti-competitive conducts

Commission of India: In its series orders against the film industry players, the competition
regulator in the country imposed penalty at the rate of 10% of average incomes on
Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) and two of its key personals associated
with its affairs, including administration, management and governance. This
penalty is imposed after KFEF is found guilty of violation of S. 3(1) read with
S. 3(3)(b) of the Competition Act, 2002 i.e. for indulging into controlling and
restricting supply and exhibition of films in State of Kerala. KFEF was forcing
the movie distributors and other players for not to distribute films to the informant
theater which had left the membership of the Federation. The informant left the
membership of KFEF against its dictates to strike against certain policies of
State Government as strike could affect informant’s business to exhibit English
and Hindi movies. Thereafter, KFEF started directing its members to boycott the
informant from the business and the members and other players followed the
direction in apprehension of financial repressions.

The Commission noted that KFEF is already facing an ongoing investigation
under the Competition Act even then it did not stop its anti-competitive
behaviors.  In its order under S. 27, the
Commission directed the Federation and its office bearers to immediately cease
and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conducts. KFEF is directed not to
associate two office bearers found guilty for their conducts with its affairs,
including administration, management and governance, in any manner for a period
of two years. The Federation is directed to organize in
letter and spirit, at least five competition awareness and compliance
programmes over next six months in the State of Kerala for its members. [In Re: Crown Theatre v. Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, Case
No. 16/2014; decided on   08.09.2015]
Source: Legal news India