‘The government’s movie ticket booking portal will create a monopoly’ | Vijayawada News
Vijayawada: Limiting online ticket sales to the newly created government platform is nothing but creating a monopoly and taking away rights from theaters and other private platforms, said senior lawyer Abhishek Manu. Singhvi during its arguments in favor of the ticketing platforms in the motions filed challenging the mandatory sale of tickets through the government platform.
The state government recently amended the AP Cinema Regulation Act and transferred online ticket sales to the Andhra Pradesh State Film Television and Theater Development Corporation. Challenging the GOs issued after the change in legislation, online ticketing platforms and the association of multiplex theaters moved the High Court.
Arguing on behalf of Big Tree Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Singhvi said they have no problem if the state government wants to sell movie tickets through an online platform. “But in this case, the government is asking them to sell tickets only through the portal that will be launched by APSFTDC. On the one hand, the government becomes a competitor and on the other hand, it will kill competition by limiting private players to sell tickets on the government platform, leading to monopoly,” he said.
Stating that the state government took a unilateral decision and did not share the minutes of the stakeholders meeting, Singhvi said the government does not have a system to sell tickets online and sells the business to a private player with an agreement to share part of the service fees collected from buyers.
Advocate General S Sriram said the government took the decision after due consultations and deliberations with all stakeholders. Supporting Singhvi’s arguments, he said there was no threat to private ticketing platforms and they could continue their activities through the APSFTDC portal.
Senior Counsel Resume Mohan Reddy, arguing on behalf of the association of multiplex theater managers, said the state government was pressuring theaters into a deal and threatening to revoke their licenses if they weren’t d ‘OK. The High Court Bench headed by the Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and DVSS Judge Somayajulu ordered the state government to file an affidavit stating that they would only collect 2 service fees on the new ticketing platform.