Charges of anti-competitive practices against realty firm Bestech India Pvt. Ltd., dismissed

Competition Commission of India (CCI): Charges of anti-competitive practices leveled against Gurgaon-based realty firm Bestech India Pvt. Ltd. has been dismissed by CCI as the Commission observed that Bestech India was not in a dominant position in the relevant market and no cogent material evidence was provided to substantiate the allegations. The said order was passed by the Commission while hearing an information vide which it was alleged that Bestech India was imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions on buyers of office space at its cyber complex in Gurgaon. It was also alleged that the company not only failed to deliver the possession of a flat booked by the informant in due time but and also unilaterally cancelled the allotment and forfeited the amount paid. Allegations of luring customers with false offers by similar terms and condition in the buyer’s agreements were also leveled against Bestech India in the information. After perusal of material on record and hearing both the parties, Commission noted, “The presence of a large number of players with projects of varying magnitude acts as a competitive restraint upon OP from acting independently of the market forces in the relevant market. Thus, OP does not appear to be dominant in the relevant market. In the absence of dominance, the Commission is of the view that, no case of contravention of Section 4 of the Act is made out against OP in the present case.” Regarding the terms and conditions in the flat buyers’ agreement, Commission observed that, “Even though the Informant has alleged existence of an arrangement amongst the real estate developers in relation to stipulation of similar terms and conditions in the flat buyers’ agreement/ application form for booking flats, no cogent material evidences have been provided to substantiate the allegations.” While rejecting the allegations against Bestech India, CIC added that similar terms and conditions in the flat buyer agreement and other similar practices by the real estate developers may be common industry practices, not necessarily because of arrangement or understanding amongst the real estate developers. [Sameer Agarwal v. Bestech India Pvt. Ltd., 2016 SCC OnLine CCI 56, decided on September 6, 2016]

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