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CCI to hear Oyo over the delisting of Treebo, FabHotels from MakeMyTrip

Oyo will register its objections with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) with regards to an application filed against its partner MakeMyTrip over the delisting of Treebo and FabHotels from the online travel booking portal. This was directed by the Gujarat High Court while it was hearing two appeals in connection to the case.

Background

  • 2018: Treebo and Fab Hotels were delisted from the MakeMyTrip portal giving rise to allegations of abuse of its dominant position.
  • 2020:  Treebo and Fab Hotels approach Competition Commission of India urging it to direct MakeMyTrip to relist them on the portal
  • March 9, 2021: CCI directs MakeMyTrip to relist their properties granting it relief
  • Sometime later: Aggrieved by the decision MakeMyTrip approaches National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) for remedy
  • March 23: Oyo, whose properties are listed on MakeMyTrip, also objects to the CCI direction to relist the two hotel franchisees and approaches the Gujarat High Court for remedy. On March 23, the Gujarat High Court stayed the CCI direction after Oyo argued that CCI did not give it any possibility to be heard and that the direction was in violation of the ideas of pure justice.
  • June: Treebo and FabHotels file appeals opposing the stay on the CCI direction by the Gujarat HC. The present direction is in regards to these appeals.

While hearing the two appeals (which was broadcast live on Gujarat HC’s YouTube Page), the Gujarat HC bench headed by Chief Justice Vikram Nath made these observations:

  • Oyo, one of the hotel groups already listed on the MakeMyTrip, felt aggrieved by the order passed by CCI and thus challenged in Gujarat High Court. They were not afforded any notice before CCI gave its directions. Thus the order of the CCI was in violation of justice and fair play and is thus quashed.
  • While hearing the two appeals, a consensus was arrived at that the Competition Commission of India can pass a fresh order after giving Oyo an opportunity of hearing in the matter. The same has to be done within a fixed time frame.
  • The appeal made by MakeMyTrip at NCLT now stands infructuous as the CCI direction has been set aside.
  • Treebo and FabHotels will remain delisted until the matter is again heard by CCI in a few weeks and a decision by the body is taken in this regard

Directions of the Gujarat High Court

1. The order of the CCI, dated March 9 2021 is set aside
2. Oyo will file its objections to the applications for interim directions before the CCI within two weeks
3 The CCI may proceed to decide the application for interim directions within four weeks from the date of certified order is produced before CCI.
4. All the parties shall extend cooperation in the hearing of the interim application before the CCI,
5. Considering the peculiarity of the case, this order will not constitute a precedent for future cases
6. The CCI will take an independent decision based on the merits, completely uninfluenced by the observations and findings accorded by the Gujarat High Court order dated March 23

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