The Competition Commission has dismissed allegations of unfair business practices made against Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI) and its office bearers with regard to implementation of Cargo Accounts Settlement System.
The complaint was filed by International Air Transport Association (IATA).
It was alleged that ACAAI and its office bearers (opposite parties) were colluding and collectively boycotting business with airlines that sought to implement Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS) -- a web-based online billing and settlement system -- in India.
It was further alleged that the conduct of the opposite parties limited the supply of air cargo transportation services in India in blatant contravention of Section 3 of the Competition Act.
Section 3 pertains to anti-competitive agreements.
Noting that IATA "has failed to furnish any material that could prima facie suggest an agreement" amongst the opposite parties, CCI said in an order, dated September 12, that no prima facie case of contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Act is made out against ACAAI and its office bearers.
CCI noted that IATA has itself admitted that there is an overwhelming response from member agents of ACAAI in support of introduction of CASS and various cargo agents came forward voluntarily to get their enrolment done for the training programme.
IATA has also submitted that after the introduction of CASS on June 1, 2015, there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of participating cargo agents with more airlines and agents actively participating in CASS of their own volition, CCI said.
"It is also an admitted fact that 14 airlines and more than 416 agents have received training to work on the CASS programme.
"All these indicate that there is no collective boycott on the part of member agents of OP 1 (ACAAI) and the member agents are taking independent commercial decision to participate/not to participate in the CASS programme," the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said.
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