Competition watchdog CCI on Wesdnesday pronounced the National Stock Exchange (NSE) guilty of abusing its dominant market position by adopting unfair trade practices in connection with currency derivatives trading. However, the quantum of fine to be levied on NSE is yet to be ascertained. “The Commission has pronounced NSE guilty of violating section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. But it will decide on the quantum of fine only after hearing NSE. We have given them a week’s time to respond to our show cause notice,” an official told PTI.

This is second time CCI has sent a show cause notice to NSE on the issue before taking a decision on the quantum of fine to be slapped on it.

The earlier show cause notice was challenged at the Bombay High Court. Under the law, companies can be fined up to 10% of their three year average profit. The MCX-SX in its representation to the CCI in November 2009 had alleged that NSE had substantially reduced admission and trade related fees to eliminate competition and discourage other entities from entering the market.

MCX-SX is promoted by commodity exchange MCX and Financial Technologies. Based on this complaint, the CCI had ordered a probe into the alleged misuse of dominant position by the NSE.

Last year in December, the investigation wing of the CCI had recommended action against the NSE for abusing its dominant position in the currency derivatives trade segment. The report said that NSE used its dominant position and original monopoly in equity, F&O (Future and Options) and WDM (Wholesale Debt Market) markets to protect its position in the currency derivative (CD) market.

Currency futures trading started on the NSE on August 29, 2008, and at the MCX-SX on October 7, 2008. During the full-year ended March 31, 2011, the total number of currency derivative contracts traded on the MCX-SX was worth over Rs 90.31 crore, while that of NSE it was nearly Rs 75 crore, as per data available with the capital market regulator Sebi.

The total traded value of the currency derivative contract was about Rs 42 lakh crore on MCX-SX and Rs 34 lakh crore on NSE for 2010-11.

When contacted, NSE refused to comment on this ongoing sub judice matter.

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June 2021