The war between Ajay Devgn Films (ADF) and Yash Raj Films (YRF) has escalated. Fair trade regulation body Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Monday rejected ADF’s complaint against YRF. According to ADF’s plea, YRF has abused their dominant position in the film industry to ensure that more single screens exhibit their next film Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ), which is releasing with ADF’s Son of Sardaar (SOS) on November 13.
The CCI, however, did not see merit in the argument presented by SOS actor-producer Devgn. “The commission is prima facie of the opinion that there is no contravention of the provisions of the (Competition) Act in the present case,” said the order issued by CCI.
The commission also stated that ADF has not presented ample data to prove YRF’s dominant market position. CCI explained that a production house of repute may not necessarily imply one that is dominant and that data such as market share and growth will be needed to prove the claim.
However, ADF is not yet willing to give up, and has approached the Appellate Tribunal for a review. Their concern stems from the fact that the number of single screens that will exhibit SOS is likely to be close to half of those that are going to show JTHJ. “We are shocked by the rejection of our legitimate case. We have approached the Appellate Tribunal against the order,” says an ADF spokesperson. The tribunal hearing will take place on Wednesday. In case the appeal is rejected yet again, ADF has no choice but to comply.
YRF, on the other hand, is not celebrating just yet. The production house, which is set to release late veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra’s last directorial venture on a big scale with a grand premiere, has maintained that the choice to screen JTHJ lay with single screen owners and YRF did not strike a deal with exhibitors to push Ek Tha Tiger and JTHJ together. Regarding the CCI order, YRF’s spokesperson said, “We have neither received any notice from the CCI nor any subsequent rulings regarding the same.”