The Competition Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 22.36 crore on Essel Shyam Communication, now known as Planetcast Media Services, for bid-rigging in tenders floated by sports broadcasters, including for Indian Premier League in 2012.
The quantum of fine on the company and its officials were reduced by the regulator under lesser penalty provisions of the Competition Act, an official release said today.
The matter of bid rigging in tenders floated by sports broadcasters was taken up by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on the basis of disclosures by Globecast India Pvt Ltd and Globecast Asia Pvt Ltd. Subsequently, Essel Shyam Communication Ltd (ESCL) also approached the regulator as a lesser penalty applicant during investigation.
They had indulged in "bid-rigging in tenders floated by sports broadcasters for procurement of end-to-end broadcasting services ie. ground segment services as well as satellite bandwidth services for various sporting events during the period July 2011-May 2012, including Indian Premier League 2012," the release noted.
The watchdog found that ESCL and Globecast operated a cartel amongst them in the various sporting events held during the years 2011-12. They exchanged information and quoted bid prices as per the arrangements between them, which is in violation of competition norms, as per the release.
Following a probe, the CCI decided to impose penalties of Rs 31.94 crore and Rs 1.33 crore on ESCL and Globecast, respectively. Besides, fines leviable on individual officials of Globecast and ESCL was computed at the rate of 10 percent of the average of their income for preceding three years.
However, the watchdog decided to completely do away with the penalty on Globecast and its officials while the fine amount was reduced by 30 per cent in the case of ESCL and its officials to Rs 22.36 crore.
The decision was taken after taking into consideration the "stage at which the lesser penalty application was filed, co-operation extended in conjunction with the value addition provided by the evidences furnished by the lesser penalty applicants in establishing the existence of cartel," the release said.
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