The CCI closed a case at the prima facie stage against Inox Leisure Limited (Inox) and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCB) on allegations of an anti-competitive exclusive supply and distribution agreement for the sale of water and beverages within multiplexes of Inox.
The CCI observed that the agreement was not exclusionary as it did not prevent Inox from purchasing products of other suppliers since the agreement was entered into for a short duration of 3 (three) years; and the parties could easily terminate the agreement upon giving 60 (sixty) days’ notice. Further, the agreement was incapable of adversely affecting competition owing to HCCB’s lack of market power in the market of sale of beverages to multiplexes. The allegation of a tie-in arrangement (i.e., forcing the consumer to purchase beverages along with the tickets), was also unsubstantiated as the purchase of beverages was not a pre-requisite to watch a film at the multiplexes of Inox. Accordingly, no investigation was initiated against Inox and/or HCCB.
The Khaitan & Co Competition/Antitrust Team represented Inox before the CCI.
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