CCI dismisses a complaint relating to delay in delivery of possession of an apartment and unfair clauses in an agreement*

On November 14, 2017, CCI dismissed the information filed by R. Ramkumar alleging violation of Section 4 of the Act against Akshaya Private Ltd. (‘Akshaya’). R. Ramkumar alleged that he had booked a residential apartment in a project developed by Akshaya, the delivery of which has been unduly delayed and the agreement entered into between them contains unfair clauses in favour of Akshaya.

While defining the relevant product market to be ‘provision of services for development and sale of residential apartments/flats’, CCI noted that a plot of land and commercial space cannot be considered as substitutes for residential apartments because of differences in price, characteristics, and intended use. CCI limited the relevant geographic market to Old Mahabalipuram Road also known as the information technology (‘IT’) corridor in the State of Tamil Nadu, since the conditions of competition for supply and demand for development and sale of residential flats were considered as homogenous and distinguishable from other neighbouring areas in terms of factors like price, land availability, distance and commuting facilities, proximity and connectivity, presence of multinational companies, state of infrastructure, and regional and personal preferences. In light of several other real estate developers operating in the relevant market, CCI found that Akshaya was not in a dominant position. Accordingly, CCI held that ab- sent dominance, no question of abuse of dominant position under Section 4 could arise.

* Case No. 38 of 2017.

Published In:Inter Alia - Special Edition Competition Law January 2018 [ English
Date: January 3, 2018