New Delhi: The Competition Commission Tuesday dismissed a complaint alleging unfair business practices against the managing partner of Kerala-based coaching institute ‘Zephyr’ for publication of advertisements claiming the institution’s success in NEET.
National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is conducted for admissions to medical institutions across the country.
The complaint against Sunil Kumar V, stated to be the managing partner of Zephyr, was made by the proprietor of another Kerala-based coaching institute Aspirant, which is also engaged in providing entrance coaching for MBBS.
The primary grievance of the complainant related to the publication of certain advertisements by Sunil Kumar in the leading Malayalam dailies, which allegedly contained “deceptive information” about the success of Zephyr in NEET, in violation of section 3 of the Competition Act.
It was also alleged that the “fraudulent advertisements” of Zephyr are an abuse of its dominant position.
For the case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) considered the “market for the provision of coaching facilities for engineering and medical courses in the city of Thiruvananthapuram” as the relevant one.
In an order, the fair trade regulator said that there are many coaching institutes in Thiruvananthapuram providing engineering and medical entrance coaching to the students, and thus posing competitive constraints on Zephyr in the relevant market.
The CCI noted that the allegations raised by the complainant “do not raise any competition concerns” that would merit intervention by it.
“Mere publication of advertisement doesn’t raise any competition issue from the point of view of either section 3 or section 4 of the (Competition) Act,” the regulator said.
Section 3 and 4 pertain to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant market position, respectively.
Noting that “no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act” is made out against Sunil Kumar, the CCI dismissed the complaint.