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BookMyShow May Exit Maharashtra If Convenience Fee Issue Isn’t Resolved

Online ticketing venture BookMyShow may stop selling tickets in Maharashtra unless the State Government addresses the issue created by a notice which prevents websites like BookMyShow from charging a convenience fee from their users, The Hindu reports. The notice was issued on April 4, 2013, restraining charging of extra fee for online booking of movie tickets, following which a Public Interest Litigation was also filed in the Bombay High Court. Maharashtra is the biggest movie market in India, BookMyShow is the largest online movie ticketing venture in the country, and its dependency on Maharashatra is likely to be high. BookMyShow CEO Ashish Hemrajani has told the publication that they are taking a significant hit in the state, and "at some point, if the water goes above the neck, I will shut it down in Maharashtra." As much as I disagree with the notion of government or courts debarring a perfectly legitimate business model, I do think that Hemrajani's suggestion that they would stop operating in Maharashtra is largely posturing: BookMyShow stopping ticketing in Maharashtra is akin to an OTA saying that it will not sell tickets for the Delhi-Mumbai route. This is BookMyShow's second run-in with a government-created issue, the first being in Andhra Pradesh, where the the government had passed an order allowing only one company (Galaxy Entertainers) to sell tickets online. Eventually, BookMyShow got a favorable verdict in Andhra Pradesh, and resumed their services. BookMyShow reported revenues of Rs 52.62 crore for the year ended March 31, 2013 (FY13),…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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