CCI finds 4 Malayalam film bodies guilty of anti-competitive conduct

Sriparna Ghosh
B Unnikrishnan

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found four Malayalam film associations —Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), FEFKA Director's Union, FEFKA Production Executive's Union — and their five Office Bearers to be in contravention of the Competition Law. The CCI order came in response to a complaint filed by movie director TG Vinayakumar.

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According to a press release issued by the ministry of corporate affairs, Vinayakumar approached the CCI accusing the associations of anti-competitive conduct. Vijayakumar has said that the associations allegedly tried to force various actors, technicians, producers and financers, not to work with him or associate with any of his project due to his efforts to streamline the working conditions of artistes and for the initiative 'Cinema Forum', which envisaged collaboration between filmmakers and distributors to make low budget movies with new actors.

The Council found the allegations made against AMMA, FEFKA, FEFKA Director's Union, FEFKA Production Executive's Union, along with the five other office bearers — Innocent, Edavela Babu, Sibi Malayil, B. Unnikrishnan and K. Mohanan — to be in contravention of Section 3(3) of the Competition Act, 2002.

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"A detailed investigation by Director General, Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that FEFKA as a mighty organisation in the Malayalam film industry consisting of 17 sub-unions engaged in different facets of filmmaking and due to the ban imposed by FEFKA and AMMA on the Informant, many of the artists and technicians were not able to deal with the Informant or any other non-member. Such anti-competitive practise was held to have an appreciable adverse effect on the Malayalam film industry," said the release.

Besides asking the associations to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct, the council has levied a fine of Rs 4,00,065 on AMMA, Rs 85,594 on FEFKA, Rs 3,86,354 on FEFKA Directors' Union and Rs 56,661 on FEFKA Production Executives' Union.

Further, a penalty of Rs 51,478 on Innocent, Rs 19,113 on Babu, Rs 66,356 on Malayil, Rs 32,026 on Unnikrishnan and Rs 27,737 on Mohanan has also been imposed.

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