ICC dismisses abuse of dominant position complaint against ICICI Bank
The Indian Competition Commission (ICC) has dismissed an abuse of dominance complaint filed against ICICI Bank in relation to the mortgage segment.
It was alleged that there were unilateral clauses in loan agreements and that housing finance banks entered into agreements using the same clauses. The complaint was filed by an individual.
In its order issued on Wednesday, the regulator said the allegations of abuse of dominance specifically concerned the arbitrary increase in the interest rate on home loans and the increase in the term of home loans by the bank on the basis of unilateral conditions in the loan agreement.
In assessing the complaint, the regulator considered the “mortgage lending market in India” to be the relevant market.
The ICC also noted that there are several public and private sector banks, non-bank financial corporations (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) operating in the mortgage market, providing various options for consumers to obtain home loans.
The existence of a large number of players in the mortgage market shows that ICICI Bank cannot operate independently in the market and, therefore, cannot be considered to be in a dominant position in the market. involved, said the regulator, dismissing the complaint.
Regarding the alleged cartel against all banks providing real estate loans, the ICC said that the complainant had not identified any bank or entity that might be involved in a cartel with ICICI Bank or provided any evidence that the inclusion of ” a similar clause, if applicable, by a bank / entity other than ICICI Bank.
Finding no “prima facie case”, the watchdog decided to close the case.
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