The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), in its interim order, has ruled that Thomas Cook had made false and misleading claims in its advertisement dated February 12, 2001, to disparage the tours of its rivals Cox & Kings (C&K) India and SOTC.
The commission has also issued an injunction on Thomas Cook barring it from making any such advertisements.
MRTPC has contended that Thomas Cook's advertisement implied that the tours of C&K and SOTC inferior to those of Thomas Cook. The commission said these representations were misleading.
In its advertisements, Thomas Cook made a direct comparison of its tours with those of C&K, suppressing certain benefits provided to customers of C&K and SOTC. These false representations had misled customers into believing that the tour prices of C&K were substantially higher than those of Thomas Cook.
In the commercial, Thomas Cook allegedly misconstrued facts to present that C&K's European tours were expensive by Rs 29,000.
The MRTPC has also held that the advertisement could be said to use tricky language and it has the impact of misguiding a consumer into making a wrong choice of tours and, therefore, construed it to be an unfair trade practice.