The Informant alleged that the Opposite Party
('OP'), M/s Benett Coleman and Company
Limited which publishes 'The Times of India' made available
the Mumbai edition of 'The Times of India' in a combo offer
with 'Mumbai Mirror' or 'The Economic Times' or
'Maharashtra Times' at a selling price of INR 7. It was
alleged that in the combo offer, the newspaper vendors in Mumbai
are selling the 'Times of India' only with the 'Mumbai
Mirror' and refusing to sell 'The Times of India' along
with 'The Economic Times' or 'Maharashtra Times'
stating that they sell as per the supply made by OP. The Informant
alleged that the said act of the OP amounts to their support to the
errant newspaper vendors who are refusing to sell the said
newspaper as per the said offer and compelling the buyers to buy
the unwanted newspaper in violation of Section 4(2)(a)(i) of the
Competition Act, 2002 ('Act'). The CCI
observed that all newspapers available in the combo offer including
'Times of India', 'Mumbai Mirror', 'The
Economic Times' and 'Maharashtra Times' are also
available separately at their respective selling prices in Mumbai
and therefore the consumers have the choice to either purchase the
newspapers in the combo offer or to purchase each newspaper
separately. Further, the CCI noted that if some vendors are not
providing 'The Economic Times' or 'Maharashtra
Times' along with 'Times of India' in the combo offer,
then it cannot be said that the OP is responsible for the conduct
of the vendors. In view of the same, the matter was closed under
Section 26(2) of the Act.
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In the wake of liberalization and privatization that was triggered in India in early nineties, a realization gathered momentum that the existing Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 was not equipped adequately enough to tackle the competition aspect of the Indian economy.
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