On August 5, 2019, CCI dismissed allegations made by National Consumers Co-operative Federation of India Limited ('Informant') against New Town Electric Supply Company Limited ('NTESCL') and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited ('WBSEDCL'), (collectively, 'Discoms'), alleging contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of the Act. 1
The allegations pertain to delay in services to supply electricity by the Discoms to the Informant's residential housing project located in Rajarhat. It was alleged that due to the delayed and vacillating approach of the Discoms, the Informant could not complete its project on time, leading to several cases being filed against the Informant by the customers.
CCI defined the relevant market as 'market for distribution of electricity in the licensed area of WBSEDCL served through its franchisee, NTESCL, in the state of West Bengal'. Since NTESCL became a subsidiary of WBSEDCL, CCI assessed WBSEDCL's position for analyzing a case under Section 4 of the Act. Relying on a public report, CCI observed that WBSEDCL is in a dominant position in the relevant market.
With respect to the alleged abuse of dominance by WBSEDCL, CCI observed that the delay/ insufficiency of services on behalf of Discoms in this case does not appear to be a competition issue and the elements of anti-competitive agreement and abuse of dominant position stand on a higher platform than mere deficiency in services. Further, the record of official communications between the Informant and the Discoms did not substantiate a claim of an abuse of dominant position.
1 Case No. 18 of 2019.
Published In:Inter Alia Special Edition- Competition Law - September 2019
Date: September 21, 2019
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