CCI slaps R1 crore fine on Etihad

The penalty has been imposed under Section 43A of the Competition Act.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:December 20, 2013 3:15 am

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday slapped a penalty of Rs 1 crore on UAE-based Etihad Airways for,“consummating parts of a deal without approval of CCI”.

The penalty has been imposed under Section 43A of the Competition Act,a statement from the CCI said.

However,the penalty is not going to impact the recently concluded deal between Jet Airways and Etihad. Etihad is required to pay the fine within 60 days,the order said.

The penalty has been levied for non-disclosure of certain details of the proposed deal and implementing them even before giving notice to the CCI under Section 6 of the act for the combination.

The fine relates to agreements entered into between the two airlines on February 26 for sale of three landing/take-off slots of Jet at London Heathrow Airport to Etihad (LHR

transaction) and leasing of the same slots back to Jet Airways.

On 24 April,Etihad signed an agreement with Jet Airways to acquire the 24 per cent stake for $379 million. The airlines sought CCI nod for the Rs 2,060-crore deal on May 1

“The parties consummated LHR transaction without giving notice to the commission. Similarly,the Parties agreed that commercial cooperation agreement shall come into force on 24th April 2013,whereas the notice was given to the Commission only on 1st May 2013,” the CCI said.

Keeping in view the facts and circumstances,the Commission said it was imposing a penalty of Rs 1 crore on Etihad,which according to the regulator had the obligation to give notice to it regarding the deal. However,Anurag Goel,member CCI,has passed a minority order saying that the penalty should be Rs 10 crore.

Compat issues notices to Commission,Jet Airways

NEW DELHI: The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) has issued notice to fair trade watchdog CCI on an appeal challenging the clearance given to Rs 2,060 crore Jet-Etihad deal.

This follows an appeal filed by former executive director of Air India,Jitendra Bhargava,challenging the CCI nod to the deal.

Notices have been issued to CCI and Jet. The tribunal has scheduled the next hearing of the case for January 9.

In his appeal,Bhargava has contended that CCI failed to effectively carry out a appreciable adverse effect on competition assessment and “placed all passengers and indeed the entire airline industry into a grave risk of suffering irreparable damage and permanently eliminating competition”. PTI

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