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… distributors’ share in case of non-compliance with the KFCC’s directions.

The Karnataka Television Association had stopped various TV channels from telecasting dubbed content resulting in distortion of competition and denial of choice to the consumer. The other associations indulged in “anti-competitive acts” and “enforced their membership as a compulsory feature on the entire industry by vandalism, economic sanctions, and disruption of permissions for other shows”, the petition stated.

The CCI interim order observed that counsel representing few film bodies in Karnataka had admitted imposing a ban on dubbed content for a long time. “This shows that there was no denial of the existence of the conduct under investigation.”

The order stated that “a ban on exhibiting dubbed films or TV serials adversely affects the consumers as it deprives them from accessing TV and film content dubbed in Kannada language, but originally made in other languages”.

Reacting to the CCI order, the former president of the KFCC and president of the Karnataka Exhibitors Association K.V. Chandrashekar said that dubbing had now got legal sanctity. Many in the film industry discreetly admit that there is no legal sanctity for blocking dubbed films and serials.

The informal ban on dubbing has been in vogue in Karnataka for six decades.