India news February 9, 2013

BCCI fined $10m for anti-competitive practices

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Omar on February 10, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    @Sandeep Chakraborty on (February 10, 2013, 6:39 GMT) - sir well said every word. I too am repulsed by the BCCI who have not only brought us low on the pitch but have also ruined our reputation abroad. Now that they have been hit right in the pocket - maybe they will change their ways. But somehow I doubt it will.

  • Dummy4 on February 10, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    I am an Indian and I hate BCCI to the core...they have ruined the beauty of the game by converting sport into a product..they can blame It on the era yet they cannot shy away from their share of responsibility due to their ineptness to understand the game. There is a limit to making money and there is a limit to ignoring the responsibility too..what they did to ICL is repulsive and the subsequent treatment of Kapil Dev makes me hang my head in shame..

  • Srinivas on February 10, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, it shouldn't really matter what ECB would do. It is a question of principles. We need to have our own personality, individuality and principles. Just because ECB or BCCI does something, doesn't mean that ECB or BCCI should be taken as the yardstick against which you compare yourself with. I hope you are getting my drift here. ECB might stack ENGLAND team with foreigners but as an Indian I would feel terribly let down if my BCCI does that. ECB's philosophy or BCCI's philosophy need not be the gold standards for others to follow suit. In this topic of anti-competition nonsense, I'm firmly against BCCI as much as I support them for their stand against hot-spot and tracker joker. Also, there's a difference between not letting your centrally contracted players from playing in ICL and not allowing ICL players to represent India. That's reprehensible on the part of BCCI. Please publish.

  • John on February 10, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    While I'm no fan of the BCCI, I can see their point of view. I don't imagine other cricket boards around the world, e.g. CA or ECB, taking too kindly to an unsanctioned competition taking place in their territory either. Given that the ECB prevented IPL exhibition matches in Ireland because they feared that it might devalue their TV deal (which I think is fair enough, by the way) I can't see them sitting idly by while some other entity ran a T20 tournament in England. I'm not sure what they'd do but I'm fairly sure that they'd prevent centrally contracted players from participating and counties would probably do the same for their contracted players.

  • P on February 9, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    Fair enough. What BCCI did to ICL was totally unfair. IPL stole the idea from ICL and then stopped ICL from recruiting players by banning them from playing international cricket. The only thing is that the fine is too low. It should be around $250 million.

  • Cricinfouser on February 9, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    @cricraz - How do you conclude that any contributors to this discussion are England supporters? Apart from you everyone has stuck to the subject of this article, the BCCI. Apart from you, no one has even mentioned the ECB - presumably because the ECB has no representation on the Competition Commission of India. You don't even know what you are talking about - the ECB 1) has no power to prevent county players (those without central contracts) from appearing in the IPL and has therefore not acted as you allege and 2) has not refused a request for IPL players to appear in a match in Ireland; the issue is over the rights for televising such a match.

  • Unmesh on February 9, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Kudos to Surinder Singh Barmi, the person who filed the case against BCCI. There is no doubt that BCCI has been doing a lot of anti-competitive practices. They made all the efforts to stop ICL and created their own league (IPL) based on the ICL concept. It is BCCI monopoly right now. Also, I think BCCI should not get tax breaks any more. It is not a non-profitable organization. IPL is an out-and-out commercial concept.

  • Anwar on February 9, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Every dog has his day, I hope it brings some sense to BCCI and they behave like GOOD big brotherto other members of ICC

  • Madhu on February 9, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Yes, BCCI is wrong, but this is not the first cricket board to use its dominant position to flex its muscle. England and ECB did the same thing for over 50 yrs!( All those english supporters need to check your own closet before commenting on BCCI). ECB even recently refused IPL players to play at Ireland and that is the reason India refused County players playing in India. ECB issuing directive to all its counties not to allow its players to play in IPL is just a sign of insecurity. Every dominant board will fall and hopefully amend for the better( BCCI will fall as well) but watching ECB amend does not give great hope for BCCI to mature gracefully!

  • silky on February 9, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    hey man i am with u. soon u will see many t20 tournaments in india other than hosted by bcci. poor guys

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