HINDUSTAN TIMES LTD Vs. STATE
LAWS(NR)-1977-6-1
MONO POLIES AND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES COMMISSION
Decided on June 03,1977

Appellant
VERSUS
Respondents

JUDGEMENT

H.M. Jhala, (Member) - (1.) THIS is an inquiry started suo moto on the basis of the Commission's own knowledge and information under Sections 10(a)(iv) and 37 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (hereinafter referred to as " the Act"), against seven respondents. Respondent No. 1 is publishing and selling from New Delhi the newspaper "Hindustan Times ", the respondent No. 2 is publishing and selling from New Delhi the newspaper " Statesman", the respondent No. 3 is publishing and selling from New Delhi the newspaper " Times of India ", the respondent No. 4 is publishing and selling from New Delhi and Lucknow the newspaper " National Herald ", the respondent No. 5 is publishing and selling from New Delhi the newspaper " Indian Express ", the respondent No. 6 is publishing and selling from New Delhi the newspaper " Patriot " and respondent No. 7 is an association of newspaper publishers of which the respondents Nos. 1 to 6 are members in respect of the said newspapers.
(2.) It was alleged in the notice dated August 26, 1975, issued by the Commission that in the sale and supply of these newspapers, the respondents appear to have been and appear to be indulging in the following trade practices (i) The prices of the newspapers, Hindustan Times, Statesman, Times of India, National Herald, Indian Express and Patriot, were increased on or near about the 1st February, 1971 ; the prices of the newspapers, Hindustan Times, Statesman, Times of India, patriot, National Herald and Indian Express, were increased on or near about the 7th December, 1973 ; the prices of newspapers, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Patriot and Indian Express, were increased on or near about the 1st May, 1974 ; and the prices of Hindustan Times, Statesman and Times of India were increased in August/September, 1974. These increases in the prices of the respective newspapers by the respective respondents appear to have been effected by acting in concert either by informal consultations amongst the respective respondents and/or through the instrumentality or with the ad and advice of respondent No. 7 and/or its regional committee. (ii) Respondents Nos. 1 to 3 have been and are charging the same or common prices for their respective newspapers, Hindustan Times, Statesman and Times of India. In so charging the same or common prices these respondents appear to have been and are acting in concert or by mutual understanding. (iii) Even though in the years 1973-74, the number of pages of their said newspapers were reduced by about 1/2 to 1/3rd, respondents Nos. 1 to 5 continued to charge the same prices for some time, and thereafter even increased the prices as mentioned above for their respective newspapers above mentioned. In doing so, they appear to have been and are acting in concert or by mutual understanding. The following statement showing the changes in the prices of the newspapers and the dates on which they were effected was enclosed with the notice :
(3.) IT was also alleged that these practices appear to have or may have the effect of preventing, distorting or restricting the competition amongst the publishers and sellers of the newspapers, and tended to bring about manipulation of prices of these newspapers in such manner as to impose on the consumers unjustified costs or restrictions.;


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