Can't insist producers to use only their members: Competition Commission to FWICE

Commission directed all parties to file the affidavit by 15 July 2020.

MUMBAI: In a landmark judgement, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has told the All India Film Employees Confederation and Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) that they cannot insist producers to take only their members to work with them.

On 31 October 2017, the CCI passed cease and desist orders against certain national and regional trade associations of film artists and producers for engaging in practices of controlling/limiting the supply of services and market sharing. Such acts have been held to be in contravention of sections 3(3)(b) and 3(3)(c) read with Section 3(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act).

The  final order by the CCI was passed on an information filed by Bollywood producer and director Vipul Shah who alleged that specific provisions of the MoU dated 1 October 2010 (MoU) signed between FWICE and producer associations i.e.  IMPPA, FTPGI, and IFTPC relating to various matters including member-to-member working, fixation of wages, etc., are anti-competitive in nature.

Thereafter, on 8 August 2019 an application under Section 42 of the Act alleging noncompliance of the aforesaid order by other parties was received by the Commission from Contiloe Pictures Private Ltd (CPPL).

On 12 March 2020, the matter was listed for hearing between FWICE and CPPL. Upon hearing the counsels of CPPL and FWICE, the commission observed that the contents of the directives issued by FWICE to its member affiliates/producers were in the nature of direction to its members not to engage the non-members and were in violation of the order of the Commission dated 31 October 2017.

Later, FWICE submitted that they would withdraw their letters dated 29 March 2018 and 26 November 2018 issued to its affiliates and also the letter dated 30 November 2018 issued to CPPL, without any conditions. The association also tendered unconditional apology for disobeying the directions of the Commission.

The Commission directed FWICE to issue communication to its affiliates," all production houses/ producers including CPPL regarding withdrawal of the said letters and file a copy thereof with the Commission within a period of 10 days. Further, FWICE was also directed to file an affidavit along with status/ compliance report within ten days to the Commission."

However, the commission later observed that none of the parties have filed any evidence. Therefore, the commission has directed all the parties involved in the matter to file an affidavit along with status/compliance report through e-mail at secy(, latest by 15 July 2020 without fail.  The secretary is directed to inform FWICE and CPPL, accordingly.

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