New Delhi: The Competition Commission has ordered a detailed probe against cricket body BCCI for alleged abuse of dominant position with regard to organising professional domestic cricket leagues in the country.
The decision has come on a complaint filed by Pan India Infraprojects Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Essel Sports Pvt Ltd).
In a 14-page order, the CCI said there is "prima-facie" a case of abuse of dominant position by the BCCI which is in violation of competition norms.
"Thus, it appears that BCCI has abused its dominant position in the market of organisation of professional domestic cricket leagues in India by excluding the informant (Pan India Infraprojects) or any of its group companies from participating in tenders for media rights for IPL," the order said.
The regulator noted that apart from restraining the organisation of a competitive league (ICL) by Pan India Infraprojects, the BCCI appears to have excluded it from downstream market by disallowing it to bid for the IPL media rights.
On earlier occasions also, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had come under the lens of the fair trade regulator.
"The sports federations engaged in organisation of tournaments/ leagues are put to advantage if they also possess the authority to grant approval for organisation of similar events by others and set conditions for such organisation.
"BCCI seems to have taken advantage of such a situation," the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in the order dated June 1.
For the case, the CCI considered 'organisation of professional domestic cricket leagues/ events in India' as the relevant market.
In the order, the regulator also made it clear that nothing stated herein shall tantamount to an expression of final opinion on the merits of the case.
The CCI's investigation arm -- Director General (DG) -- would probe the case.
During the preliminary conference on May 2, 2018, the informant highlighted that the BCCI is continuing with such restriction as a similar/ identical clause is still present in the tenders issued by the BCCI IPL media rights (2018-2022) "whereby the informant and its group companies have been foreclosed from participating in any media rights tenders issued by the BCCI," the order said.
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