Bloomberg News

DLF Files Case Challenging Indian Antitrust Agency’s Order

October 10, 2011

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- DLF Ltd., India’s biggest developer, filed a case challenging the antitrust agency’s order that fined the company 6.3 billion rupees ($139 million) for “abuse of dominance” related to the sale of apartments.

The first hearing will be held on Nov. 9, DLF spokesman Sanjey Roy said in a phone interview today. DLF shares rose 4.8 percent to 228.65 rupees at the close of trading in Mumbai today, its highest level in two months.

The Competition Commission of India, the nation’s antitrust agency, said August DLF had imposed unfair conditions in the sale of homes in the city of Gurgaon, and imposed a penalty that amounted to 7 percent of its average annual turnover over the past three years. DLF said then it would examine all options including an appeal to the Competition Appellate Tribunal.

“If the infringement decision is upheld against DLF, it would mean that DLF as an enterprise found to be dominant would be prohibited from imposing the terms and conditions it did,” Suzanne Rab, a partner at London-based King & Spalding said in an e-mailed statement. “Yet other construction firms not found to be dominant would not face competition law problems in imposing such terms.”

Ashok Menon, the registrar at the Competition Appellate confirmed the DLF case and date of hearing.

The penalty came after the Belaire Owners’ Association, representing buyers at the Belaire housing complex in DLF City in Gurgaon, complained that DLF delayed the project and inserted one-sided contract clauses. The order said that DLF collected money from the buyers before they were provided the sale agreements.

The commission also directed the developer to modify “unfair conditions” within three months, according to the August order posted on the agency’s website.

--With assitance from George Smith Alexander in Mumbai. Editors: Linus Chua, Sam Nagarajan

To contact the reporter on this story: Pooja Thakur in Mumbai at pthakur@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net


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