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CCI will not take precipitative action against Star India

The investigation by the competition regulator was initiated based on a complaint filed before the CCI by Asianet Digital Network Private Limited

CCI has said that it will not be proceeding with any precipitative action against Star India and its affiliate broadcasting entities for a further period, at least till September 23, when the writ petition will come up for the hearing.

Star India and its affiliate broadcasting entities (Petitioners) Monday filed a writ petition before the Kerala High Court challenging the investigation launched by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the subsequent summons issued by CCI in the matter.

The investigation was initiated based on a complaint filed before the CCI by Asianet Digital Network Private Limited (Complainant) against the Petitioner inter-alia on the grounds of violation of the TRAI Regulations. It is inter-alia contended by the Petitioners that the subject matter falls outside of the jurisdiction of the CCI.

Initially, the Petitioners had filed the writ petitions before the Bombay High Court wherein the interim protection was granted by the High Court vide its order dated April 6, 2022.

However, in its September 16, 2022, judgement, the Bombay High Court disposed of the Writ Petition granting liberty to approach appropriate forum possessing territorial jurisdiction. The Bombay High Court further extended the interim protection granted to Star India and its affiliates for another 10 days.

Therefore, Star India, Disney and Asianet Star filed fresh Writ Petitions before the Kerala High Court challenging CCI’s order directing the investigation and the summons dated 5.9.2022.

The Petitions were mentioned this morning for urgent listing and the same were accordingly listed at 2:00 PM.

When the matters were called at 2 PM, Mr Venkataraman, Ld. Additional Solicitor General, appeared for CCI and requested that the matters may be listed on Friday (September 23, 22).

During the hearing, the Ld. ASG gave an undertaking to the court that CCI will not take any coercive steps till Friday.

Basis the above undertaking, the matter is now listed on September 23, 2022.

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