By Manas Kumar Chaudhuri, Ebaad Nawaz Khan
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 9 July 2018 closed a case involving allegations of abuse of dominant position against Merlin Developers, Merlin Projects Limited (Merlin Developers and Merlin Projects Limited have been collectively referred to as Merlin), Merlin group companies and their office bearers (In Re: Cambridge Residents Welfare Association & Others And Merlin Developers & Others; Case No. 50 of 2017).
The informants in this case, Cambridge Residents Welfare Association, an association registered under the West Bengal Apartment Ownership Act, 1972, and its office bearers (collectively referred to as Informants), alleged that the Merlin Group had abused its dominant position inter alia by adopting one-sided agreements and terms in respect of sale of residential apartments in their project Merlin Cambridge. The Informants argued that the Merlin Group was in a dominant position because it occupied the top position in terms of total number of residential real estate projects in Kolkata and was able to charge a premium of 20% above the market rate in all their projects.