The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations about abuse of the dominant market position in sales and services by Nissan Motors India in Ludhiana. The CCI order, released on Tuesday, says that prima facie there is “no competition concern actionable under...the (Competition) Act.” It also says that based on the data available with it, Nissan Motors cannot be said to have a dominant position in India and, therefore, the “question of abuse of dominance would not arise.”
The complainant in the case is Tristar Trading, an erstwhile dealer of Nissan Motors. It had filed the complaint against the auto maker, its service partner Hover Automative India and its authorised dealer Dada Motors for Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
The allegation was that Nissan Motors and Hover, in collusion with Dada Motors, were trying to “preserve, increase and consolidate the dominant power” of Dada Motors in Ludhiana leading to distortions in competition.
Tristar Trading had also alleged in its compliant that Nissan had terminated its dealership agreement for no reason. It said that this agreement contained certain abusive clauses. The order, however, says that Nissan terminated the dealership agreement on receiving complaints from customers that Tristar Trading had not remitted to it the advance it had collected from them for car deliveries. “The issue between the car manufacturer and its erstwhile dealer arising out of termination of the dealer agreement appears to be a commercial and contractual dispute and does not raise any competition concern,” the order says.
According to Tristar Tradings submissions before the CCI, it contended that during construction of its showroom, Nissan had barred it from selling the then-latest (2010) models of Teana and X-trail cars and were allowed to sell only older models. At the same time, it alleged, that Nissan had allowed Dada Motors to sell these cars from a showroom with incomplete facilities workshop.