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Probe ordered against BookMyShow for forming cartel


HYDERABAD: In a major setback to the movie ticketing portal ‘BookMyShow’, the Competition Commission of India directed the Director-General of Police (DGP), Telangana, to conduct an investigation into the allegations that it was violating the Competition Act and GO 47 of 2006 that provides for reserving at least 50 per cent of the tickets for sale in the licensed booking office at cinema theatres. The DGP has to submit a report in 60 days.

The commission, headed by Ashok Kumar Gupta and comprising members Sangeeta Verma and  Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, passed these orders in a case filed by Vijay Gopal, founder of an online movie ticketing portal ‘Showtyme.’

 

Vijay Gopal told the commission that BookMyShow collected Rs 25 per ticket as convenience fee from customers and shared 50 per cent of it as commission. He alleged that BookMyShow signed ‘exclusive and refusal deal’ agreements with multiplexes to sell their movie tickets online through its website.  He mentioned that some theatres were selling more than 50 per cent tickets through the BookMyshow portal, violating GO 47.

“BookMyShow has formed an explicit cartel with multiplexes and theatres to thwart any opportunity to other platforms to sell tickets of cinema, even at less than 50 per cent convenience fee than that of BookMyShow, and thereby controlling the movie ticketing industry and has imposed barriers for new entrants,” the petitioner mentioned before the Competition Commission.

 

Opining that there is a prima facie case, the commission directed Telangana DGP to investigate and to submit a report. 



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