CCI Finds Indian Railways Abusing Dominance While Charging Online Booking Fees

The Indian Competition Commission found that the practice of the Indian Railways to round up the amount charged for an online booked ticket was an abuse of a dominant position and requested the Director-General to consider the issue and submit a report within 60 days.

ICC responded to the information provided by two individuals who alleged that train tickets purchased online were rounded up to a multiple of 5. Thus, if the fare is £ 386, the Railway Company's website (IRCTC) is rounded this up to ₹ 390. In addition, they said that this had been done on individual tickets even though several tickets were reserved.

For example, if four ₹ 386 tickets are reserved, the additional amount charged is ₹ 4 per ticket, instead of rounding the total from £ 1,544 to £ 1,555.

"The opposing parties have not been able to satisfy the Commission as to why the policy of rounding the actual basic rates to the nearest multiple of $ 5 is applicable to the sale of tickets online, while this could be possible for the opposing parties. electronically transfer a single paisa, "said the ICC in its judgment.

"In addition, during the preliminary conference, the opposing parties were unable to explain why the rounding is done separately for each passenger, even when multiple tickets are booked via the same account at the same time for one person. way, "added the ICC.

In light of the foregoing, the TCC considered that such bundling of tariffs amounted to unfair conditions in the Indian train ticket market, particularly for online bookings, in violation of the Section 4 (2) (a) (i) of the Competition Act, which deals with the abuse of dominant position.

"Accordingly, the Director General (DG) is responsible for conducting an investigation into this matter and submitting his report within 60 days of receipt of this order," said ITC.