Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New institute formed by Praveen Sharma for CA/CS aspirants doesn’t amount to cartelization: CCI

Facts:

a) Mr. Praveen Sharma and Mr. R.K. Mehta, renowned faculty, were running coaching classes for CA/CS aspirant under the Faculty Arrangement Agreement (‘FAA’) with coaching Institute ‘ETEN CA’. They shared all the confidential information under the agreement with each other.

b) ETEN CA alleged that Mr. Praveen Sharma and Mr. R.K. Mehta made certain illegal demands and threatened to discontinue ongoing batches if their demands were not fulfilled.

c) Further, it alleged that Mr. Praveen sharma had starteda new coaching institute in the name of ‘Adline Ventures’ and Mr. R.K. Mehta and others as faculty members were appointed in this new institute

d) ETEN CA filed complaint with CCI that Mr. Praveen Sharma and other faculty members abused their dominant position by influencing the students and misusing the confidential information provided by ETEN CA. Further, it alleged that they indulged in anti-competitive agreement by cartelizing and adopting unfair trade practices.

The Competition Commission held as under:

1) Many other coaching centers such as CA club India, J.K. Shah Classes, Institute of grooming, etc., were also providing similar online and offline coaching services for CA/CS aspirants. With the presence of other players in the market, it did not appear that Adline Ventures enjoyed a dominant position.

2) Further, new entity (i.e., Adline Ventures) formed for competing with ETEN-CA doesn’t amount to cartelization as Mr. Parveen Sharma and other faculty members used their experience and expertise to operate their own business in the area of providing coaching classes. - [2016] 76 taxmann.com 140 (CCI)

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