Competition Panel Fines BCCI Over Indian Premier League Deals
The fair trade regulator competition commission said that the Indian cricket board "indulged in anti-competitive practices and slapped a penalty" of Rs 52.24 crore ($9.7M) on it, according to the PTI. Claiming that the Board of Control for Cricket in India "abused its dominant position, the competition commission directed it to 'cease and desist' from any practice in future denying market access to potential competitors, including inclusion of similar clauses in any future agreement." The complainant "had alleged irregularities" in the granting of franchise rights for team ownership, media rights and awarding of sponsorship rights. Noting that BCCI's economic power is enormous "as a regulator that enables it to pick winners," the regulator said that the cricket board has gained tremendously in financial terms from the Indian Premier League cricket format. The order said, "Virtually, there is no other competitor in the market nor was anyone allowed to emerge due to BCCI's strategy of monopolizing the entire market" (PTI, 2/8).