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Competition Commission of India closes a nine-year-old case against IATA

The CCI said that 'no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against any of the opposite parties and the matter is directed to be closed forthwith.' (HT)Premium
The CCI said that 'no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against any of the opposite parties and the matter is directed to be closed forthwith.' (HT)

  • The Air Cargo Agents Association of India in December 2012 alleged a number of anti-competitive practices against IATA
  • The association alleged that IATA was determining the rate of cargo agents' commission in an unfair manner

NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has closed a nine year old case against the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which counts about 290 global airlines including Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara, as its members, after finding no violation of competitive norms.

The complaint filed by Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI) in December 2012 alleged a number of anti-competitive practices related to IATA’s Cargo Agency Conference and the Cargo Tariff Conference.

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Allegations were also made that IATA was determining the rate of cargo agents' commission in an unfair manner and that rules of the agency's Cargo Accounts Settlement Systems (CASS) were anti-competitive.

In its 36-page order dated 31 March, the CCI said that the major grievance of the informant (ACAAI) seems to be related to accreditation of cargo agents and introduction of CASS in India by OPs or opposite parties and alleged imposition of unilateral, unfair and abusive conditions by IATA on the cargo agents through its resolutions.

"In view of the foregoing discussion, no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against any of the Opposite Parties and the matter is directed to be closed forthwith," the CCI added.

A copy of the order has been reviewed by Mint.

"IATA welcomes the order by the Competition Commission of India (CCI)," the agency said in a statement adding that the recent order by CCI reinforces the fact that it operates in line with the competition laws of India.

"IATA is not dominant in the market for account settlement services in respect of the air cargo segment in India and that no case of contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act were made out against IATA," it said.

"The recent order also underscores that the introduction of the CASS in India brought benefits to both airlines and cargo agents, bringing economies of scale, standardization and efficiencies in the settlement process," it added.

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