Former Air India Executive Director Jitender Bhargava has challenged the CCI (Competition Commission of India) clearance to the Rs.2,060-crore Jet-Eithad deal in the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compact).
The CCI is learnt to have sought explanations from the two carriers to ascertain whether they failed to provide information on certain commercial pacts, which could raise anti-competition concerns.
The deal was approved last month by the CCI.
CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla, on Thursday, said the two carriers had been issued show-cause notices on a separate issue, relating to their certain commercial agreements.
The CCI, in its November 12 order, had said that the clearance would have no bearing on the proceedings for possible penal action for non-furnishing of information by the parties. “The majority has already approved the merger but on whether some things happened before they filed the application, which could be a possible area for penalty being imposed, that we have issued a show-cause notice,’’ Mr. Chawla said.
Hearing on Dec 19
Mr. Bhargava, in his appeal against the CCI clearance, has alleged that the proposed combination would have adverse effect on competition in India.
He has also contended that the CCI failed to conduct a detailed inquiry into the deal. He has stated in his petition that the CCI failed to effectively carry out the appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC) assessment in accordance with Section 20(2) of the Act, and, in doing so, in its order, placed all air passengers and indeed the entire Indian airline industry into a grave risk of suffering irreparable damage and permanently eliminating competition.
The appeal will be heard on December 19.