The order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in the South Asia LPG (SALPG) case was significant as it lays down the framework for companies to access indispensable infrastructure, said a partner at Dua Associates who advised the counterparty in the matter.

The CCI slapped a ₹192 million (US$2.7 million) fine on SALPG – the highest imposed by the CCI in any abuse of dominance matter. The CCI’s order penalized SALPG for abusing its dominant position in upstream terminalling services for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) imports at Vishakhapatnam port.

“This order lays the framework for providing access to indispensable infrastructure to enterprises that cannot compete without such access, and can have far-reaching consequences in many sectors,” said Kunal Mehra, a partner at Dua Associates who advised East India Petroleum (EIPL), the company that filed the case against SALPG.

The regulator stated that “impositions by SALPG have priced out EIPL and reduced its business volumes substantially” and that its conduct, being without reasonable grounds, contravened section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.

Word on whether SALPG would file an appeal was awaited. “While each case presents its own peculiarities, this case is significant not just in the competition law jurisprudence of India, but also in how businesses in control of indispensable infrastructure operate,” said Mehra.

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