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CCI grants Naik Paranjpe third strike to release movie vs another alleged distribution cartel

Action Replayy
Action Replayy
Media law specialist Naik Paranjpe & Co has secured exhibition and distribution rights for multi-starrer film Action Replayy by winning a favourable interim order from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against six distributors for allegedly indulging in anti-competitive cartelisation practices.

The order was attained last week before Diwali by Naik Paranjpe partner Ameet Naik who, assisted by Ravi Suryavanshi, instructed senior counsel Ashwini Mata for representation before the CCI on behalf of Sunshine Pictures, which produced Action Replayy.

The CCI concluded that the action of the distributor’s association led by the Motion Pictures Association fulfilled the three important conditions: existence of a prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable loss - for grant of an interim stay in favour of the producers of the film.

While issuing directions under section 33 and upholding the provisions contained under sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, the commission relied on the recent landmark ruling delivered by the Supreme Court in the CCI v SAIL (Steel Authority of India) case.

The regulator held that existence of past dues owed by producer Vipul Shah towards some members of the distributor association cannot empower them to act in a manner which is prima facie anti-competitive in nature.

“The Competition Commission held that  it was an undisputed fact that the associations had issued directions to refuse the registration of the film of the film ‘Action Replayy’ on the grounds of some past dues of some of their members against Mr.Vipul Shah in respect of his film ‘London Dreams’ and that such action by the associations would limit the distribution and exhibition of the film ‘Action Replayy’ and on account of the said disputes not being decided by any competent authority or court of law  would be violative of Section 3 of the Competition Act 2002 and further held that existence of past dues cannot empower the Associations to act in such anti-competitive manner,” stated Naik in a press release.

“The CCI further held that the associations have been enjoying monopoly with regard to distribution and exhibition of the films and by compelling the distributors to become their members and to register their films thus acting in a discriminatory manner and unfair lacking any legal sanctity for their conduct,” added Naik. “The Competition Commission was pleased to pass an Order restraining all the association from restraining the registration of the film Action Replayy by PVR Pictures Ltd and thereby permitting the exploitation and release of the film and creating any impediments against the registration of the film on the basis of the said false claims of the members against Vipul Shah.”

This is the third CCI interim order the law firm has been granted to secure the release of movies against alleged action by distributor trade bodies.

The firm had represented Reliance Mediaworks in respect of the movies Lafangey Parindey and Raavan earlier this year.

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