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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Will look into Tata's airline ventures if required: CCI

PTI  Mumbai, November 15, 2013
First Published: 21:44 IST(15/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:19 IST(15/11/2013)
Fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India on Friday said it will look into the Tata Group's proposed airline ventures with Singapore Airlines and AirAsia, if they find these entities are operating in the same space and are getting big.

 
"These are new investments so they haven't come to us. We are not really familiar with what these two entities are going to do, at this stage. But they are going to operate in separate markets.
 
"If they are going to have some division or if they are not encroaching onto the same market or competing with each other, there is no issue," Competition Commission of India chairman Ashok Chawla told reporters when asked about Tatas' airline investments.
 
The CCI chief, however, stated that it is not looking at these ventures at the moment because they are proposed to be operating in separate segments.
 
"If there are issues where the same entities are operating in the same space and they are getting big, we shall see...But at this stage we have no idea," he said.
 
Chawla was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci conference on capital markets here.
 
The Tata Group has joined hands with Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Air Asia to launch a full service and low-cost airlines respectively.
 
Under the full-service model, Tata Sons will own 51% and Singapore Airlines 49% in Tata-SIA Airlines. The two would jointly invest $100 million initially to set up the airline with Tata investing USD 51 million.
 
Earlier, the Tata Group formed a joint venture with AirAsia and Telestra Tradeplace to launch a low-cost carrier, AirAsia India. In this, Air Asia will own 49% and Tata 30% and the rest Telestra Tradeplace.
 
While AirAsia India is slated for launch soon, the one with Singapore Airlines is planning a June-July 2014 launch.
 
Commenting on the spectrum allocation issue, Chawla said the matter is still at various forums. "We are still looking into it...and based on all (the aspects) we will take a call."
 
Over the past 30 months of its existence, the CCI got 120 cases for investigations, Chawla said.

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