The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has said in a court filing that a DP World challenge to a probe into its alleged anti-competitive practices at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP) constitutes an attempt to stop or push back potential adverse findings against the operator.
According to a filing by the watchdog dated from January and seen by news agency Reuters, DP World’s local unit had “prematurely” hurried to court to halt or delay the probe.
Last year, the CCI ordered an investigation into suspected antitrust violations by DP World and APM Terminals at the terminals they operate at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
DP World had called for a court in Mumbai in India to stop or suspend the CCI investigation, claiming it “would lead to gross discrimination and grave economic harm”, although at the time of writing, it is still taking place.
“The reason for [the DP World action] is not difficult to discern,” the filing from the antitrust regulator claimed.
“The petitioners appear to have pre-empted that the Director General may return with a finding against [them].”
According to the CCI, the effort by DP World to stop the investigation should not be permitted because it “would encourage every enterprise against whom investigation is ordered … to approach courts and seek similar relief”.
The probe by the watchdog comes after a complaint from PSA International alleging that APM Terminals and DP World created barriers to make the growth of PSA’s JNPT terminal hard by conspiring on charges they levy at the port.
Source: Port Strategy