Sep 30, 2022

CCI Issues Cease and Desist Order Against Amateur Baseball Federation of India

On June 03, 2022, the CCI found Amateur Baseball Federation of India (‘OP’) in contravention of the Act further to an information filed by the Confederation of Professional Baseball Softball Clubs (‘Informant’) for abuse of dominant position by the OP for restricting players to participate in any tournaments organized by an unrecognized body like the Informant. Resultantly, the Informant had to postpone its event due to lack of participation and had to suffer financial losses. [1]

The Informant, alleged that the OP (i) issued a circular (‘Circular’) to its affiliated state baseball associations asking them not to deal with the Informant, an unrecognized body; (ii) prohibited state-level players from participating in any of the events organized by it; and (iii) threatened to take strict action against the players who will participate in such events.

On June 03, 2022, the CCI also passed an order granting interim relief to the Informant by: (i) restraining the OP from issuing any further communication to its affiliated state associations imposing any prohibitions; and (ii) directing OP not to threaten the players who want to participate in such events.

While passing the final order, in its analysis, the CCI dismissed a preliminary objection by the OP stating that it doesn’t qualify as an ‘enterprise’. The CCI clarified that the OP is an ‘enterprise’ as it controls baseball and engages in economic activities, doesn’t matter if the nature of such activities is non-commercial /philanthropic. The Act does not distinguish economic activities based on their commercial or non-commercial nature.

Based on the evidence collected by the DG, the CCI observed that the OP (i) is dominant in the market for organization of baseball leagues/events/ tournaments in India; (ii) has abused its dominance by issuing the Circular that denied market access and limited, restricted the provision of services and market to other associations who wished to conduct similar tournaments and; (iii) imposed unfair conditions on the players by restricting them from participating in tournaments organised by bodies that are not recognised by the OP.

The CCI directed the OP to cease and desist from engaging in such unfair practices. However, it refrained from imposing any monetary penalty since the OP had already withdrawn the Circular which led to a market correction. Moreover, the Informant had successfully organized its event titled ‘Club Nationals 2021’ at a later date which was the premise of such a complaint.


[1] Case No.03 of 2021.




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