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CCI rejects ISWAI plea against AP Beverages

September 27, 2022 10:39 pm | Updated 10:39 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

The Competition Commission of India (CCI)  has rejected a complaint filed by the International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) against Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL) and the Prohibition & Excise Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

In an order dated September 19, the CCI said, “The Commission is of the prima facie view that no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against the OPs (APSBCL and Prohibition and Excise department), and the matter is ordered to be closed forthwith in terms of the provisions contained in Section 26(2) of the Act.”

With regard to the allegations that various clauses of Rate Contract Agreements (RCAs) are unilateral and unfair, the  Commission noted that OPs had stated that conditions in the RCA were not unilateral and that OPs could not control and artificially manipulate the demand/supply conditions of alcoholic beverages in Andhra Pradesh, the Commission said.

The ISWAI had alleged arbitrary procurement of alcoholic beverages by APSBCL and imposition of unfair and exploitative terms on suppliers and/or manufacturers of alcoholic beverages who were ISWAI members in Andhra Pradesh. This conduct was alleged to be in contravention of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, which prohibited the imposition of unfair and discriminatory conditions by dominant undertakings.

The complaint also alleged that APSBCL discriminated against members of ISWAI, causing them significant commercial losses. ISWAI counts among its members several leading international spirits and wines companies with business operations in India.

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