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JWS Paints disagrees with CCI's findings in favor of Asian Paints

Based on a complaint from the JSW Group company, the competition commission has opened an investigation into the suspected exploitation of Asian Paints' dominating market position.

September 16, 2022 7:11 IST | India Infoline News Service

JSW Paints has contested the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) decision from last week clearing rival Asian Paints of accusations of anti-competitive trading practices and stating that it will take the necessary actions to preserve a free and fair market.

Based on a complaint from the JSW Group company, the competition commission has opened an investigation into the suspected exploitation of Asian Paints' dominating market position. According to the investigation's findings, CCI issued its order last week, concluding that Asian Paints had not broken any laws.

AS Sundaresan, the joint managing director of JSW Paints, stated in a statement on Thursday, "We do not agree with the commission's judgment that Asian Paints has not misused its dominant position.”

"We are presently examining the order and will take the necessary actions to defend our customers' and dealers' interests in a free and fair market," the statement reads.

Legal professionals are of the opinion that the company's only option was to appeal the decision to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

JSW Paints just entered the decorative paints sector, which Asian Paints now controls around 40% of. In 2020, the firm claimed that Asian Paints was leveraging its market dominance to prevent it from expanding into the states of Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.

But according to CCI, the inquiry revealed that almost all of the dealers' credit limits had been reduced for commercial reasons. Similar to that, it also mentioned that the retail tiers of dealers had been reinstated before information in the case was filed. According to the investigation, Asian Paints did not pressure or persuade any dealer to take down the JSW advertising or tinting equipment.

According to the competition watchdog, JSW Paints acquired a letter from a dealer alleging coercion on the part of Asian Paints without providing the dealer with the whole context, and the same dealer later refuted the claims against Asian Paints in an affidavit.

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