Com­pat Stays 256-cr CCI Penalty on Three Air­lines

The Economic Times - - Companies - Rajat.Arora @times­group.com

New Delhi: The Com­pe­ti­tion Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal (Com­pat) has stayed penal­ties to­talling .₹ 256 crore im­posed on Jet Air­ways, IndiGo and SpiceJet for al­legedly col­lud­ing in set­ting fuel sur­charges. The Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia (CCI) had levied fines of .₹ 151 crore on Jet Air­ways, .₹ 63 crore on IndiGo and .₹ 42 crore on SpiceJet in Novem­ber, find­ing them guilty of col­lud­ing to fix the fuel sur­charge for cargo trans­porta­tion. The mat­ter has been sent back to the CCI on tech­ni­cal grounds and Com­pat has given the air­lines one more chance to de­fend them­selves be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog. The CCI can pass the fi­nal or­der only af­ter hear­ing the air­lines.

“The Com­pat on Mon­day ob­served that the air­lines weren’t given an op­por­tu­nity by the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion to make their case be­fore the fi­nal or­der was passed in Novem­ber,” said a se­nior govern­ment of­fi­cial who was present dur­ing the hear­ing in the tri­bunal. The CCI now has to is­sue show-cause no­tices to the air­lines, af­ter which they will get a chance to de­fend them­selves, said the of­fi­cial. In its or­der, CCI had said the con­duct of the air­lines un­der­mined the country’s de­vel­op­ment and was detri­men­tal to con­sumers’ in­ter­ests.

In the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­ducted by the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the CCI, it was found that on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, when one air­line in­creased the fuel sur­charge, the oth­ers fol­lowed si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

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