Competition Commission looking into Jet-Etihad deal

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has received an application seeking approval for the proposed Jet-Etihad transaction.

Updated: May 22, 2013, 19:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Fair trade regulator CCI on Wednesday said it is examining the over Rs 2,000 crore proposed deal between leading carrier Jet Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has received an application seeking approval for the proposed Jet-Etihad transaction.

"They have filed for the approval for the merger and we are examining the deal," CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla told reporters here.

However, he did not give any time-frame in which CCI would clear the deal.

Forging a strategic alliance, Jet Airways has decided to sell 24 percent stake to Etihad Airways for about Rs 2,058 crore. The deal would mark the first investment by a foreign carrier in an Indian airline since the change in FDI policy.

Most of the merger and acquisition deals require approval from the Commission, which keeps a tab on anti-competitive practices in the market place.

Under the proposed deal, Jet Airways would offload sell 27.26 million shares in a preferential offer to Etihad at Rs 754.74 a piece.

"The value of this equity investment is USD 379 million (about Rs 2,058 crore) and will result in Etihad Airways holding 24 percent of the enlarged share capital of Jet Airways," the two airlines had said in April.

The alliance is also expected to bring additional traffic, frequencies and revenues to metro airports, as well as several non-metro airports of the Airports Authority of India.

Regarding the issue of cartelisation in petrol prices, Chawla said CCI has started probing into oil marketing companies.

When asked whether Petroleum Ministry will be held responsible for the cartelisation, Chawla said "the Ministry (Petroleum) has said that it is not responsible and that the prices of petrol have deregulated, whatever is happening in terms of activities in the market they are attributing it to oil marketing companies (OMCs).

"The probe is being carried out against OMCs," he added.

On the issue of Rs Rs 6,307 crore penalty imposed by CCI on cement companies, Chawla said the whole matter would be heard by Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) and he cannot comment at this stage.

"In the sense that Compat will hear the whole matter and once they hear the whole matter they will adjudicate. At this stage I cannot say more," CCI Chief said.

Compat, last week, had ordered 11 cement manufacturers to deposit Rs 630 crore before it heard their appeal against a hefty Rs 6,307-crore fine imposed by CCI for cartelisation and price manipulation, and posted the case for final hearing in August.