BCCI case: Surinder Singh Barmi vs The Board Of Control For Cricket India 2017
Tribunal:Competition Commission of India
Citation:Surinder Singh Barmi vs The Board Of Control For Cricket India 2017
Case No. 61/2010
Surinder Singh Barmi
Opposite Party: The Board of Control for Cricket in India
CORAM: Mr. Devender Kumar Sikri Chairperson
Mr. S. L. Bunker Member
Mr. U. C. Nahta
Mr. Justice G. P. Mittal
Act, Status, etc. Competition act 2002, section 4, 19, 27
Decided on: 29 November, 2017
The Competition Commission of India (hereinafter, the “Commission”) had passed an order dated 8th February, 2013 under Section 27 of the Competition Act, 2002 (hereinafter, the “Act”) wherein the conduct of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (hereinafter, “BCCI”) was found to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of the Act.
The Commission had found BCCI dominant in the market for the organization of private professional cricket leagues/events in India. The representation given by BCCI under clause 9.1(c)(i) of its IPL Media Rights agreement entered into with the broadcasters of Indian Premier League (“IPL”), that “it shall not organize, sanction, recognize, or support during the Rights period another professional domestic Indian T20 competition that is competitive to the league” was found to be an exercise of regulatory powers for arriving at a commercial agreement. The said conduct of BCCI was found to be in contravention of Section 4(2)(c) of the Act.
Aggrieved by the above order of the Commission, BCCI had preferred an appeal before the erstwhile Hon’ble Competition Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter, “COMPAT”). The COMPAT, vide its order dated 23rd February, 2015, had set aside the Commission’s aforesaid order dated 8th February, 2013 on the ground of violation of principles of natural justice.
Upon considering the matter, the Commission, vide its order dated 5th May, 2015, directed the Director General (hereinafter, ‘DG’) to conduct further investigation into the matter.
Findings of Supplementary Investigation by DG
The DG found the relevant market to be the market for ‘organization of professional domestic cricket leagues/events in India’. For arriving at such finding, the DG relied upon the pyramid structure of cricket governing bodies; different types of cricket matches; differences between sport and entertainment programmes broadcasted on television channels, cricket and other sports, and professional domestic cricket leagues and other formats of cricket; and the similarity of rules and regulations for organization of cricket events across India.
The supplementary investigation concluded that BCCI enjoys a dominant positon in
the relevant market on the basis of analysis of its market share, size, resources and economic power, dependence of consumers and high entry barriers. Further, the rules/ regulations/ byelaws of International Cricket Council (hereinafter, ‘ICC’) and BCCI were relied upon by the DG to state that they reinforce the absolute dominance of BCCI in the relevant market.
The DG also found Rules 28(b) and 28(d) of BCCI Rules to be anticompetitive as the same did not provide scope for any enterprise, other than BCCI or its members, to
organize professional domestic cricket league/events in India. After taking into consideration the submission of BCCI, the DG found the said rules to be in contravention of Section 4(2)(c) of the Act.