The CCI has in 2014 initiated two investigations into the alleged imposition of minimum resale price maintenance (RPM). The first one was against Hyundai Motor India Ltd (‘Hyundai Case’) and I had written on the legal standard adopted by the Competition Commission of India to initiate investigations in the said case. Subsequently, the CCI directed the Director General (DG) to investigate on the use of RPM in the e-commerce platform. The present article continues the legal debate on the standard that has to be adopted for initiating investigation by the CCI.
The Snapdeal Case (Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd v KAFF Appliances (India) Pvt Ltd) The CCI has directed the Director General to investigate into the allegations pertaining to minimum resale price maintenance imposed by KAFF Appliances (India) Pvt Ltd (KAFF) on an information filed by Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd (Jasper) under Section 19 of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act).
Jasper owns and operates www.snapdeal.com (snapdeal) an online market place which provides a medium for buyers and sellers to meet and transact. It was alleged that KAFF being aggrieved by the sale of its products at discounted prices on snapdeal, displayed a caution notice on its website holding out that the products sold on snapdeal were counterfeit, infringing its trademark, deceiving the public by trading on the goodwill of KAFF and were also undercutting the prices of authorized dealers. Further, it was also alleged that KAFF mentioned in the notice that it will not honour the warranties of the products sold in its brand name through snapdeal.
[Sundar Ramanathan, The Competition Commission of India initiates an investigation in relation to resale price maintenance in the e-commerce sector (Snapdeal), 29 December 2014, e-Competitions Bulletin June 2015, Art. N° 73730]