The Competition Council of India (CCI) has closed a nine year old case against IATA – International Air Transport Association. A complaint had been filed by the Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI) in December 20212. It alleged a number of anti-competitive practices related to IATA’s Cargo Agency Conference and the Cargo Tariff Conference.
The ACAAI also alleged that IATA was determining the rate of cargo agents’ commission in an unfair manner and that rule of the agency’s Cargo Accounts Settlement Systems, were anti-competitive.
The CCI, in its 36-page order dated March 31, said the major grievance of the ACAAI was related to accreditation of cargo agents and introduction of CASS in India by opposite parties and alleged imposition of unilateral, unfair and abusive conditions by IATA on the cargo agents through its resolutions. “In view of the foregoing discussion, no case of contravention of the provisions of the Act is made out against any of the Opposite Parties and the matter is directed to be closed forthwith.”
Welcoming the ruling, IATA in a statement said the order reinforces that fact that IATA operates in line with the competition laws of India. It noted that the order also underscores that the introduction of the CASS in India brought benefits to both airlines and cargo agents, bringing economies of scale, standardization and efficiencies in the settlement process.
“A substantial amount of time and resources have been expended over the years by all parties. Today, the COVID-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the aviation industry, including in India. We hope to be able to move forward from this episode as we tackle the challenges from the COVID-19 crisis,” it said.