This issue of LexCognito, which in Latin means 'awareness about law', seeks to provide you an insight into significant legal and regulatory developments that have taken place very recently in India.

Date: 16 August 2019
“Unfair and Discriminatory” Warranty Policies amounting to abuse of Dominant Position – CCI probe against Intel India
The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) has decided to undertake a detailed investigation against Intel Corporation and its Indian subsidiary Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd. (collectively “Intel”) for their alleged “unfair and discriminatory” Warranty Policy in respect of their products namely Boxed Micro-processors bought by customers in India from unauthorized resellers / parallel importers. Boxed Micro-processor (“BMP”) is a central processing unit used in self-assembled computers.

In its Order dated 09.08.2019, CCI has given a prima facie finding that Intel’s India specific Warranty Policy denying warranty services to BMP bought by customers in India from unauthorized resellers / parallel importers is unfair and discriminatory amounting to abuse of “dominant position” in Indian market.

The aforesaid Order has been passed pursuant to a complaint filed by Matrix Info Systems Pvt. Ltd. (“Matrix”) against Intel under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”). In its complaint, Matrix had alleged that Intel has been abusing its “dominant position” in “relevant market” by way of practicing unfair and discriminatory Warranty Policy whereby Intel denies warranty services in respect of products in question bought by customers in India from unauthorized resellers / parallel importers even though such products were procured by the importers from Intel’s authorized distributors out of India. Matrix had thus alleged that the aforesaid business practices of Intel are in contravention of Sections 3 & 4 of the Act which deal with Anti-competition Agreements and abuse of “dominant position”.

After conducting a preliminary investigation in the matter, the CCI has held a prima facie view that Intel does enjoy a “dominant position” in the “relevant market” for the products in question. The CCI has further held, inter-alia, that the India-specific Warranty Policy of Intel in respect of the subject products bought by customers from unauthorized resellers / parallel importers is unfair and discriminatory and amounts to “abuse” of its “dominant position” in contravention of the provisions of Section 4 of the Act. Consequently, the CCI has directed the Director General of Investigation to conduct an investigation into the case and submit an Investigation Report within a period of 150 days.

This case is very important for global electronics and IT companies who often resort to denying warranty services of their own products bought by Indian customers from outside country because of their lower prices abroad.
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Chambers of Rajan & Indraneel 
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About us
Chambers of Rajan & Indraneel is a premier full service law firm headquartered at New Delhi, India. The Firm represents amalgamation of vast experiences and practices of two eminent lawyers. Indranil Ghosh is highly reputed as a disputes lawyer. He was a senior partner and head of litigation practice in one of the oldest Indian law firm Fox Mandal for several decades before setting up his own practice. Rajan D Gupta is a rank holder Chartered Accountant turned Corporate Lawyer. He is also a licensed Insolvency Resolution Professional. He has been associated with internationally renowned big law firms in past and has held senior level positions in firms like PwC, Fox Mandal, Khaitan & Co. and SRGR Law, etc. before starting the Firm.

We have a team of experienced Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Insolvency Resolution Professionals with access to network of high quality experienced lawyers in all major commercial cities of India.

The Firm offers a wide range of expert legal services in the areas of corporate and commercial laws and specializes in representing major foreign and domestic corporations with diverse business interests in India. The Firm is professionally equipped to handle large sized and complex corporate transactions like Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Restructuring, Joint Ventures, Inbound & Outbound Investments, Private Equity and Venture Capital Investment Transactions, Real Estate Transactions, Infrastructure Projects, Project Finance, Power Projects, Non-Conventional Energy Projects, Highways & Road Projects and Corporate Taxation as well as GST, etc. The Firm also offers proven capabilities in litigation and dispute resolution practice areas, especially in handling international and domestic arbitrations as well as litigation in Supreme Court, various High Courts of India and various judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals/forums including at National Client Law Tribunal, Appellate Tribunals, Tax Tribunals, Competition Commission, Electricity Tribunal, Telecom Disputes Tribunal, Designated Authorities and other adjudicatory bodies.

We have set up a Japan Business Desk (JBD) in order to serve our Japanese clients in a better way. The endeavour of the JBD is to act as a bridge between our professionals and clients from Japan so as to ensure that there are no barriers as to linguistic and cultural differences. This will indeed facilitate Japanese corporates doing business in India. 
This newsletter contains general information available in public domain at the time of its preparation. It is intended as a general news update and is not intended to be comprehensive nor to provide specific business, financial, investment, legal, tax or other professional advice or opinion or services. This newsletter is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, and it should not be acted on or relied upon or used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser and refer to the source pronouncement/documents on which this business alert is based. It is also expressly clarified that this newsletter is neither a solicitation nor an invitation of any sort whatsoever or a source of advertising from our firm or any of its partners or lawyers or other professionals to create any adviser-client relationship. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this news alert, this cannot be guaranteed, and neither our firm nor any related person/entity shall have any liability to any person or entity that relies on the information contained in this publication. Any such reliance is solely at the user's risk.
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