The Competition Commission of India has found Fast Way Group abusing its dominance in the cable TV service in the territory of Punjab and Chandigarh in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002. The order was passed pursuant to investigation carried out by the Director General upon information filed by M/s Kansan News Private Limited a broadcaster of a news and current affairs TV channel known as ˜Day and Night News™ and operating in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The Commission has imposed penalty on the Group entities, namely, – M/s Fast Way Transmission Pvt. Ltd. M/s Hathway Sukhamrit Cable & Datacom Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Creative Cable Network Pvt. Ltd. at the rate of 6% of their average turnover for the last three preceding financial years. The penalty so worked out amounts to Rs. 80,401,141 (Rs. Eight crores four lakhs one thousand one hundred forty one only).
The Commission held that the Fast Way Group is having more than 85% of the total subscribers in Punjab and Chandigarh and due to this fact not only every broadcaster including the informant is dependent upon their network, the consumers of cable TV in Punjab &Chandigarh also have huge dependency on the Fast Way Group. They do not have any effective substitute to switch over to the other network. Abusing its market power the Fast Way Group has denied the Informant the opportunity for transmission of it channel on its network and thereby has effectively denied it access to the market.
The contravening Multi Service Operators has been directed to deposit the penalty amount within 90 days. The Commission has also directed that the contravening entities should ˜cease and desist™ from indulging in anti-competitive practices which have the effect of denial of market access as discussed in the order.