Anti trust competition Law in India

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a regulatory body in India.

Competition is a situation in market, in which sellers independently strive for buyer’s patronage to achieve business objectives. Competition and liberalization, together unleash the entrepreneurial forces in the economy. Competition offers wide array of choices to consumers at reasonable prices, stimulates innovation and productivity, and leads to optimum allocation of resources.

The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. Under this legislation, the Competition Commission of India was established to prevent the activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India This act extends to whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

It is a tool to implement and enforce competition policy and to prevent and punish anti-competitive business practices by firms and unnecessary Government interference in the market. Competition laws is equally applicable on written as well as oral agreement, arrangements between the enterprises or persons.

The Competition Act, 2002 was amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 and again by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2009.

This is an act to establish a commission, protect the interest of the consumers and ensure freedom of trade in markets in India-

The Central Government of India has the right to exempt from the application of the Competition Act:

(a) behaviour by any class of enterprise if necessary in the interest of security of the state / public interest;
(b) practices arising out of and in accordance with an obligation assumed by India with any other country or countries; and
(c) enterprises that perform a sovereign function on behalf of the Central Government of India or a State Government.

To date, the Central Government of India has issued the following exemptions:
(a) the “de-minimis” exemption for merger control that exempts, for a period of 5 years from 4 March 2016, acquisitions in which the target enterprise has assets less than INR 3500 million in India or turnover lesser than INR 10,000 million in India;
(b) Vessel Sharing Arrangements of the Shipping Liner Industry are exempted from the provisions prohibiting anti-competitive agreements under the Competition Act for a period of 1 year from 2 March 2016, as long as the agreement does not include concerted practices involving the xing of prices, limitation of capacity or sales and the allocation of markets or customers; and
(c) all combinations involving banking companies in respect of which the Central Government of India has issued a noti cation under Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, are exempted from the ling requirements before the CCI, for a period of ve years from 8 January 2013.

The CCI is empowered to inquire into an agreement / abuse of dominant position / combination if it has, or is likely to have, an appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC) in the relevant market in India.

In the case of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance, the CCI may impose nes of up to 10% of the average turnover for the last three preceding nancial years upon each of such persons or enterprises that are parties to such agreements or abuse. In the case of cartels, the CCI may impose the higher of the amount equal to three times the total pro ts for each year of the continuance of such agreement or 10% of turnover for each year of the continuance of the agreement, whichever is higher.

The CCI may also require parties to an anti-competitive agreement or enterprises abusing their dominant position to “cease and desist” from continuing with such agreements or practices. The CCI may also sanction modi cation of agreements, which are found to be anti-competitive. In the case of abuse of dominance, the CCI has the power to order the division of the dominant enterprise.

Once the CCI or subsequently the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) in appeal, nds a contravention of the Competition Act, a person may approach the COMPAT for adjudicating its claim for compensation for any loss or damage shown to have been suffered as a result of such contravention.