MRTPC curbs multiplexes on distributors’ plea

MUMBAI: MRTPC (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission) recently restrained the Multiplex Association of India and its members from carrying on restrictive trade practices. The order was passed on the complaints of Ramesh Sippy and four other film distributors.

The distributors have alleged that certain clauses of the Multiplexes Association of India Terms Agreement, 2007, were restrictive in nature. As per the agreement, multiplex chains would negotiate terms with distributors on a national or regional basis and no chain would pay the distributors more than what has been agreed to in the MAI Agreement. It was also alleged that the agreement was with the intention of forming a cartel to pressurize producers and distributors of films to accept the terms as dictated by the cartel of multiplex owners.

The Commission found that the MAI Agreement was prima facie restrictive and against public interest. Also, “the continuation of such practice till the enquiry is completed could cost irreparable loss to the film industry and the applicants.”

MRTPC has also directed multiplex owners to file an affidavit of compliance within four weeks.