Regulator closes 9-year-old cargo case against IATA
- It was also alleged that IATA was determining the commission of cargo agents in an unfair manner and that rules of the agency’s Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS) were anti-competitive.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has closed a nine-year old case against airline industry group the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which counts about 290 global airlines including Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara, as its members, after finding no violation of competitive norms.
The complaint filed by Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI) in December 2012 alleged a number of anti-competitive practices related to IATA’s Cargo Agency Conference and the Cargo Tariffs Conference.
It was also alleged that IATA was determining the commission of cargo agents in an unfair manner and that rules of the agency’s Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS) were anti-competitive.
In its 36-page order dated 31 March, the CCI said that the major grievance of the informant (ACAAI) seems to be related to accreditation of cargo agents and introduction of CASS in India by opposite parties and alleged imposition of unilateral, unfair, and abusive conditions by IATA on the cargo agents through its resolutions. “In view of the foregoing discussion, no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against any of the opposite parties and the matter is directed to be closed forthwith,” CCI said.
A copy of the order has been reviewed by Mint.
“IATA welcomes the order by the Competition Commission of India,” the agency said. The recent order by CCI reinforces the fact that it operates in line with the competition laws of India, it said.
“IATA is not dominant in the market for account settlement services in respect of the air cargo segment in India and that no case of contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act were made out against IATA,” it said.
“The recent order also underscores that the introduction of the CASS in India brought benefits to both airlines and cargo agents, bringing economies of scale, standardization, and efficiencies in the settlement process,” it said.