BCCI fined $10m for anti-competitive practices
The BCCI has been fined Rs 52.24 crore (US$10m approx) by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for misusing its dominant position and indulging in anti-competitive practices. The Indian board has 90 days to pay the fine.
In its order, the CCI, whose job it is to ensure fair and healthy competition in economic activities in India, directed the BCCI to "cease and desist" from any practice that denies market access to potential competitors and not use its regulatory powers in deciding matters relating to its commercial activities. It suggested that the Indian board now must "set up an effective internal control system to its own satisfaction, in good faith and after due diligence."
On the penalty levied, which apparently amounts to 6% of the BCCI's average annual revenue for years 2007 to 2010, the order stated: "The abuse by BCCI was of a grave nature and the quantum of penalty that needs to be levied should be commensurate with the gravity of the violation."
The complaint against the BCCI was filed in November 2012, by Surinder Singh Barmi, a Delhi based cricket-fan, and he had made allegations in relation to the IPL. He had alleged irregularities in the grant of IPL franchise rights, media rights and sponsorship rights. In its order, the CCI also raised questions over the BCCI restraining players from freely taking part in the Essel Group's Indian Cricket League. "BCCI had foreclosed the competition by openly declaring that it was not going to sanction any other event. BCCI undermined the moral responsibility of a custodian and de facto regulator," the order stated.
The BCCI said they might seek legal recourse in the matter. "We at BCCI do not agree with the findings of the Competition Commission," a board official told PTI. "The BCCI doesn't need to indulge in any sort of anti-competitive practice and we are very unhappy with this decision. We are planning to seek legal recourse and appeal against the decision."