The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has closed an information case against LG Electronics India, stating that no case of contravention of Competition Act is made out against the South Korean electronics major. 

Perfect Infraengineers Limited (PIL)—the informant—had approached CCI alleging contravention of Section 3 of Competition Act 2002.

PIL is engaged in providing air conditioning repair, sales and service. The informant, in collaboration with Suntrac, USA, had introduced ‘Hybrid Thermal Solar’ (HTS) panels in India which, as claimed by PIL, when integrated with the air conditioners, results in saving 30-40 per cent electricity consumption without causing any harm.

‘Immense hardship’

It was alleged that LG Electronics India had refused to allow the integration of the informant’s HTS panels with its Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) ACs installed at Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) premises. 

Similarly, permission was denied for PIL’s HTS Panels to be supplied to Envirocare, Thane for LG VRF ACs.

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PIL alleged that LG Electronics India’s refusal caused immense prejudice and hardship to Envirocare, DMRC, and the informant. 

PIL had urged CCI to direct LG Electronics India to permit installation of HTS Panels for DMRC and Envirocare-owned ACs and to honour the contract of maintenance to provide spares of AC machines when required by both of them. 

CCI’s order

In its six-page order, CCI noted that PIL has not provided any information about the dominance of LG Electronics India in the “market for manufacture and sale of VRF HVAC Air Conditioners in India.”

The presence of a large number of players makes the market contestable and provides several options for the consumers, acting as a competitive constraint for LG Electronics India, the CCI order noted. “In the absence of dominance, no case of contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of Act (Competition Act) is made out.”

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Looking at the market construct and the nature of allegations, the question of contravention of provisions of Section 3(1) of the Act is also ruled out, the CCI order added.

Interestingly, this is the first adjudicatory ruling by the Commission under the new Chairperson Ravneet Kaur and comes after a hiatus of seven months since the erstwhile CCI Chief Ashok Kumar Gupta demitted office on October 25 last year.