How competition law is affecting sports in India: a look at the emerging case law
The twin forces of globalisation and commercialisation have turned sports into a global business. Yet there are a multitude of ways in which sports entities remain significantly different than other business organisations. The monopolistic nature of sports organisations and the inherent need for maintaining competitive balance between teams have resulted in emergence of many forms of economic restraints like revenue-sharing, spending caps, drafts, non-tampering clauses.1 Although these restraints are commonplace in modern sports, they have inevitably attracted the attention of competition law which aims to protect markets from anti-competitive restraints and their legality under competition laws have often been questioned in different jurisdictions on a regular basis.2 India has been no exception in this regard.
Three recent decisions of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) have thrown a renewed spotlight on the role of competition law in sports in India:
In June 2018, the CCI found a prima facie case of abuse of dominance against the BCCI for restrictions imposed on the Indian Cricket League (ICL).3
In July 2018, CCI also disposed of two separate complaints filed against:
This article reviews the decisions and assesses what they may mean for the future of competition law and sports in India.
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- Tags: All India Chess Federation (AICF) | Athletics | Athletics Federation of India (AFI) | BCCI | Chess | Competition Act 2002 | Competition Commission of India (CCI) | Competition Law | Cricket | Cricket League (ICL) | Department of Sports | India | Indian Premier League (IPL) | Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) | National Sports Development Code 2011
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Saurabh Bhattacharjee is an Assistant Professor at WB National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS) Kolkata. An alumnus of NALSAR Hyderabad and University of Michigan Law School, Saurabh teaches courses on Labour Law and Law and Impoverishment at NUJS and has taught Sports Law at NALSAR as a Guest Faculty. He is currently pursuing his doctoral research on juridification of sports in India