October 12, 2019

CCI dismisses complaint against SBI

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


The CCI dismissed a complaint that State Bank of India (SBI) abused its dominant position in West Bengal.

Sainath Autolinks Pvt. Ltd. (Informant), an authorized dealer of Maruti Suzuki India Limited located in Durgapur, West Bengal had opened a Supply Chain Finance Unit (SCFU) account with SBI in the year 2011. A reconciliation and audit exercise was undertaken with respect to the aforesaid SCFU account for the financial year 2013-14, wherein it was found that one credit entry had been captured twice and one debit entry had been missed and that the Informant was liable to pay a sum of Rs. 2.13 crores.

The Informant moved the Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleging contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. The Informant requested CCI to declare the demand of Rs. 2.13 crores as illegal and asked for the re-imbursement of the disputed amount alongwith interest at the rate of 24% p.a. from SBI among others. It was also alleged that SBI is in a dominant position in the banking sector and that it has abused the dominant position.

The CCI noted that SBI’s market share in MSME loan category in the State of West Bengal was around 11% in 2018-19. Further, the banking sector in West Bengal seems to be characterized with presence of several national level banks such as State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and many others.

Further the CCI observed that considering the large number of players operating in the relevant market, SBI does not seem to have the ability to operate independently of the competitive forces. In the absence of dominance, the issue of abuse of dominant position against the SBI does not arise.

The CCI disposed the matter stating that the provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 have not been contravened.

Full View Judgement

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