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Breaking: Kingfisher Rs 1 cr CCI fine reduced to Rs 72.5 lakh as CCI dismisses Kingfisher-Jet, other airline cartel cases

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reduced the stayed Rs 1 crore fine against Kingfisher airlines to Rs 72.5 lakh, after finding that the airline had not provided sufficient information to the Commission.

The CCI found that Kingfisher had no “reasonable cause” in not supplying information to the CCI for 145 days between May and September 2010, in respect of its alleged cartel with Jet Airways.

Keeping in mind a maximum penalty of Rs 1 lakh per day, the CCI fined Kingfisher Rs 50,000 per day, totalling Rs 72.5 lakh over the 145 day period.

In November 2010 the CCI had fined Kingfisher Rs 1 lakh per day up to the maximum of Rs 1 crore permitted under the law for not providing requested information in time. The Competition Appeals Tribunal (Compat) stayed this fine in December 2010.

Jet Airways – Kingfisher cartel

The CCI has also, in a majority decision with member R Prasad dissenting, found that the collaboration between Jet Airways and Kingfisher was not anti-competitive or a cartel to increase air fares.

Airlines suo moto MRTP case

The CCI also dismissed a suo moto Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) investigation against airlines for simultaneously hiking their rates in February 2009, and media allegations that airlines hiked fares around the Diwali season of 2010.

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