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Ajay Devgn complains to CCI against YRF for monopolising exhibitors

PTI
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Devgn moved the CCI claiming that YRF was using its dominant position to ask exhibitors to dedicate more screens to their upcoming release, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, than for his film ‘Son of Sardaar’ on November 13.
Devgn moved the CCI claiming that YRF was using its dominant position to ask exhibitors to dedicate more screens to their upcoming release, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, than for his film ‘Son of Sardaar’ on November 13.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has received a complaint from actor-producer Ajay Devgn against Yash Raj Films (YRF) for alleged abuse of dominant position ahead of the release of their films this month.

The production house YRF, however, denied monopolising exhibitors.

Devgn had moved the CCI claiming that YRF was using its dominant position to ask exhibitors to dedicate more screens to their upcoming release, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, than for his film ‘Son of Sardaar’ on November 13.

According to a senior CCI official today, the Commission has received a complaint from Devgn against YRF and they are looking into it and that a final decision is yet to be taken.

“The complaint is being considered. A decision on whether to accept it or not is likely to be taken in a week or so,” the official said.

A source from Ajay Devgn Films said the actor-producer was forced to take this step because of “monopolistic practices of YRF”.

“YRF reportedly told exhibitors it will give ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ only if they agreed to give its Diwali release (Jab Tak..) prominence over other films. They are using their dominant position in the market to deny our film (’Son of Sardaar’) its rightful due. This is unfair,” the source added.

But, YRF today said they were “shocked” to receive an intimation from Ajay Devgn Films’ lawyers about the complaint filed with the CCI.

“For a company like ours, which has maintained the highest standards of work ethics and fair play, this has really come as a shock. We would like to clarify at the outset that we still haven’t received any notice from the Commission and will suitably represent our stance if and when called upon to do so.”

“A Yash Chopra/Shah Rukh Khan movie, coming after a gap of 8 long years, did not need any coercion for contractual screening,” YRF said in the statement.

The film company questioned the timing of the complaint, saying the release date of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, directed by the late Yash Chopra, was announced in June 2011.

“...It was odd that ‘Son of Sardaar’ announced their release for the same day almost a year later on May 29, 2012.

They were also able to lock their final distribution partner as late as October 4, 2012. It would seem odd that they would expect us to wait for our release plans to be put in place till they had finalised theirs!”

(This article was published on November 2, 2012)
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