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ADF v/s YRF: is the war finally over

IndiaGlitz [Saturday, November 10, 2012]
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Is the s the battle over.. its becoming strange with both the sides having their stands.. all that started with  Ajay Devgn Films filing a case with the Competition Commission saying that YRF have wrongfully used their clout within the industry to pre book majority screens for their upcoming diwali release Jab Tak Hai Jaan thus hampering the release of Son Of Sardaar.

While on one hand we have ADF claiming that the Competition Tribunal have since upheld the case which was earlier rejected by the Competition Commission, YRF is claiming that The Competition Appellate Tribunal, in a hearing today, also refused to pass any interim order against Yash Raj Films (YRF) on the ground that the complainant had not put forward sufficient facts to establish that YRF had violated the Competition Act. ADF official statement says, "The Competition Appellate Tribunal has seen merit in our case and has issued notice for enquiring into the anti competitive activities of YRF about the tie in arrangement to block our movie "Son of Sardaar" on the day of Diwali.

While looking at YRF's  own damning statement that only 821 theatres which have already executed agreement with YRF for showing "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" on the Diwali day, had a so called tie in arrangement in comparison to 1407 single screens for "Ek Tha Tiger", the Competition Appellate Tribunal did not provide an interim relief.  This leaves the balance  screens which have not executed agreements with YRF to show "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" till date to be free to exhibit "Son of Sardaar" without any tie in arrangement of YRF.  This would include 586 single screens which had earlier shown "Ek Tha Tiger".

Accordingly, we would now be approaching all theatres who have not executed any agreement for showing "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" for exhibiting our movie.  However, if the above facts are found to be false which would be proven through evidence after th release of the movie, we would not only continue to fight against YRF's anti competitive activities on our own behalf but also on the behalf of the entire industry. Whereas the YRF puts its side on the issue, Rafiq Gangjee, Vice President Marketing & Communications at YRF, said, "After the Competition Commission dismissed the complaint filed by Ajay Devgn Films (ADF) on the basis that they were of the opinion that there was no contravention of the Act in this case, the Competition Appellate Tribunal, in a hearing today, also refused to pass any interim order against Yash Raj Films (YRF) on the ground that the complainant had not put forward sufficient facts to establish that YRF had violated the Competition Act.

We completely refute the press release put out by ADF as the Competition Appellate Tribunal did not find any merit in the contention of ADF because the Tribunal was of the view that ADF has totally failed to establish that the agreements entered into by YRF with the single screens cinemas would cause any appreciable adverse effect on competition. It was also noted by the Tribunal that YRF had announced the release of its film on June 27, 2011 with its announcement of the release of its film for Diwali 2012 and commenced booking of single screen theatres in June, July & Aug 2012. On the contra, ADF announced the release of its film only on May 29, 2012 and approached the single screen owners only in October 2012 by which time YRF had taken a lead.

It was expressly noted that the number of screens contracted for Jab Tak Hai Jaan, being far less than that of Ek Tha Tiger; prima facie no case of adverse effect on competition, much less appreciable effect on competition, was made out. In a free competition Ajay Devgn admits that the cine goers will decide the film that they wish to see. With both the films having opened the booking on the same day, the cine goers already seem to have expressed their verdict. Even as we go press with this release, we are being approached by a large number of theatres with offers to screen our film. Despite several media queries, YRF has maintained a strict media silence while the matter was pending before the competent judicial authorities, deeming it inappropriate to comment on the matter while it was before the judicial authorities. YRF has never desired nor manipulated such publicity.

It is unfortunate that our refusal to comment has led to aspersions being cast on YRF's business practices, which have always been ethical and of the highest standards. With this matter having been laid to rest for now, we would like to get back to releasing Jab Tak Hai Jaan this Diwali on November 13. This is the time to celebrate a Yash Chopra Romance, which has traditionally lit up homes worldwide, during this festive season.

And Yash Raj Films' will continue to do so, jab tak hai jaan!"




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