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Fair-trade regulator CCI today dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance against Maharashtra State Power Generation Company with regard to qualification criteria for the bidders provided by the state utility in its tender.
Rejecting the complaint, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that no case of contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act is made out against Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (Mahagenco).
According to the regulator, the allegation pertained to the qualifying requirement put by Mahagenco in its tender floated in September 2017 for appointment of supervision, monitoring and coordination agency for overseeing of rake movement and coal quality monitoring, among others.
In an order, CCI said that the issue is purely administrative in nature as the procurer, being a consumer, retains the discretion to disqualify the bidders as per the experience gained and the exigency of the requirement.
"The Commission is of the considered opinion that a consumer/procurer must be allowed to exercise choice and to frame the terms and conditions of the tender documents so as to best secure an optimal outcome.
"This right of consumer's choice must be sacrosanct in a market economy because it is expected that a consumer would decide what is best for it and free exercise of consumer choice would maximise the utility of the product or service for the consumer," CCI said.
The regulator noted that in case of public entities, there are administrative mechanisms in place for carrying on the due process of exercising consumer's choice on behalf of the public.
"Of course, there could be competition concerns in rare cases where a monopoly buyer exercises the option in an anti- competitive manner but the present case does not appear to be in that category," the regulator said. The complaint against Mahagenco was made by one Vijay Menon.
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