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CCP enforces Rs5m penalty on APNS for anti-competitive practices

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June 10, 2024 (MLN): The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has enforced an order against the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), recovering a penalty of Rs5 million imposed for anti-competitive conduct.

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) filed a complaint with CCP, wherein it was alleged that Regulations and Circulars formulated by APNS violated section 4 of the Competition Act, 2010.

The CCP’s inquiry inter alia established that APNS had imposed restrictive trading conditions, and certain rules, regulations, and circulars enforced by APNS were in contravention of the Act.

On June 06, 2018, CCP passed an order and held that APNS had engaged in anti-competitive activities such as applying unfair trading conditions and imposing dissimilar conditions on equivalent transactions with other trading parties through its circulars, rules, and regulations.

CCP recognized APNS’s cooperation and compliance-orientated approach as the mitigating factor and imposed a penalty of only Rs10m.

The CCP's order also nullified all such circulars, rules, and regulations and directed APNS to formulate new ones and seek exemption from the CCP under Section 5 of the Competition Act. Additionally, the order stipulated that failure to comply would result in an additional penalty of Rs25m and a daily penalty of Rs100,000.

APNS appealed the CCP’s order before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (CAT). After a detailed hearing, the Tribunal partially allowed the appeal by reducing the penalty to Rs5m.

The CAT further directed APNS to submit its amended circulars, rules, and regulations to the CCP within one month.

The Tribunal also held that the additional penalty of Rs25m and the daily penalty would not apply if the CCP endorsed the amended rules and regulations within 60 days.

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Posted on: 2024-06-10T10:33:58+05:00