CCI orders probe against Athletics Federation of India

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) The Competition Commission has ordered a detailed probe against Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for alleged abuse of dominant position, following a complaint by the Sports Ministry. The investigation has been ordered after the fair trade regulator found prima facie evidence of competition norm violations by AFI. The Department of Sports, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, filed the complaint after AFI decided to take action against state units, officials and athletes who encourage unauthorised marathons without taking the federations permission. This decision was taken at AFIs annual general meeting held in April 2015. AFI works towards promoting athletics in the country and the government provides financial assistance from time to time for its functioning. Besides, the body generates a large sum of money through sponsorship and royalty while organising various national and international athletic events.For this case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) considered “provision of services relating to organisation of athletics/athletic activities in India” as the relevant market. “It appears that by virtue of its dominance in the relevant market, the opposite party (AFI) is trying to impose discriminatory conditions like mandatory permission for conducting national and international marathon meets and it is thereby restricting the entry of new entrants into the relevant market,” CCI said in its order dated March 16. According to the regulator, AFI is dominant in the relevant market, considering its control over managing athletic activities in the country and its wide reach with 32 affiliated state and institutional units. Ordering an investigation into the matter, CCI said the conduct of the federation prima facie appears to be abuse of dominant position. The regulators investigation arm — Director General (DG) — will probe the case. In case AFI is found to have contravened competition norms, the DG will also investigate the role of the officials and persons in-charge at the time of violations. According to the watchdog, AFI has been engaged in organising various national and international athletic events and generating revenue out of such activities through various means such as royalty and sponsorship. “The said activities of AFI can be aptly termed as economic activities and hence, AFI stands covered within the meaning of enterprise in terms of the provisions of Section 2(h) of the (Competition) Act,” it said. AFI is affiliated to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) and the Indian Olympic Association. PTI PRJ RAM ARDadvertisementlast_img read more