Home / Companies / News /  No coercive action against Star India: HC orders CCI

The Kerala High Court on Thursday passed an interim order restraining Competition Commission of India from taking any coercive action against Star India and affiliates, Asianet Star Communications and Disney Broadcasting (India), in a discriminatory pricing case.

The order is an extension of a Bombay High Court order of 16 September.

Star India and its affiliates had filed a writ petition before the Kerala High Court contesting CCI’s investigation. “The interim order will be in effect till the disposal of the writ petition. Final arguments will start on 11 November," said a person in the know.

The companies had moved the Bombay high court after CCI, on 28 February, ordered an investigation under section 26(1) of the Competition Act 2002 by the Director General.

Section 26 (1) says that if the commission is of the opinion that there is a prima facie case, following a complaint or a reference from the Centre, state governments or any statutory authority, or even via suo motu action under section 19, it must direct the director general to initiate an investigation.

However, the Bombay High Court on 16 September did not intervene in the investigation by the anti-trust watchdog on grounds of territorial jurisdiction, but said the 6 April order by Justice GS Patel directing the CCI not to take any coercive action against the media firms will remain in effect for another 10 days. .

“Meantime, the petitioners in all three cases will, on without prejudice and no-equities basis, furnish to the director general documentary material and information as he called for or in response to his queries. The CCI is not to pass any further orders or to adjudicate further on 2nd respondent’s complaint until further orders of the court. The CCI is not to permit or direct any coercive actions against the petitioners until the next date. This order will operate until 8 June," the court had said.

CCI’s order was based on a complaint by Asianet Digital Network Pvt Ltd, a distributor that offers TV digital services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.


Priyanka Gawande

Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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