ADF initially filed a complaint before the Competition Commission (CCI) through Naik Naik and Company, claiming the success of its film Son of Sardar would be compromised by YRF, which it accused of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance in booking single-screen theatres for the release of its film Jab Tak Hai Jaan (“As Long as I Live”). Both films were released to coincide with Diwali week 2012.
Following the CCI’s dismissal of the claim, ADF appealed to COMPAT, which held last week that ADF had access to the same number of screens for its film. Further to this, the tribunal noted that no theatre owners had come out in support of ADF’s claims, and held that the relevant agreements did not cause any appreciable adverse effect to competition.
The matter was argued on behalf of YRF by senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, with the assistance of HSA associate Pragya Ohri. HSA partner Navin Syiem and senior associate Shivanshu Thaplyal advised YRF on the proceedings before COMPAT.