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Ajay Devgn Films appeal against verdict on YRF ties with single screen theatres

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NEW DELHI: Ajay Devgn Films has approached the appellate tribunal against the dismissal of their case where it claimed that the act by Yash Raj Films of releasing ‘Ek tha tiger‘ in single screens during Eid on condition that ‘Jab Tak hai Jaan‘ would be released during Diwali was anti-competitive.

The Competition Commission of India had yesterday said, "There is no contravention of the Competition Act with regard to the agreement between Yash Raj Films and single screen exhibitors with regard to the film ‘Ek Tha Tiger‘ starring Salman Khan."

In a statement today, Ajay Devgn Films which is seeking to release ‘Son of Sardar‘ during Diwali said, "We are shocked by the rejection of our legitimate case by the CCI. We have approached the Appellate Tribunal against the order."

The Commission had said the agreements entered into in July/August were not anti-competitive.

The allegation by Ajay Devgn was that at the time of the release of ‘Ek Tha Tiger‘ on 15 August, Yash Raj Films and its distributors had taken an undertaking that they would also release the film ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan‘ by the same producer during Diwali. Ajay Devgn alleged that it was laid down that any single screen theatre who did not agree to booking of his theatre for both the films would not get the right to exhibit the single film.

But the Commission was informed that ‘some did not agree to this and did not enter into the agreement‘.

The Commission said, "The act of booking theatres by a distributor for its two films simultaneously when the theatre owners have the liberty either to agree or not to agree, is not a restraint on the freedom of business of theatre owners. The theatre owners can wait for other films and can refuse to book their theatres simultaneously for two films. Even otherwise the non significant position held by the single screen theatres does not cause any adverse effect on the competition. Furthermore under the Act, tie-in arrangements per se are not violative of section 3(4)(a) of the Act."

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