Competition Commission of India - Advocacy for affordable healthcare in IndiaThe role of competition law authorities is to ensure that markets work in a manner that allows the process of competition to drive market outcomes. One way of doing this is by using enforcement measures – taking action against enterprises that are hindering the process of competition by entering into anti-competitive agreements or abusing their position of dominance. However, that is not the only way.

Competition law authorities can also contribute to the enhancement of competition by stepping up their advocacy measures. While the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has consistently been using advocacy measures as part of its functions, recent measures highlight how the CCI’s advocacy measures are becoming more nuanced because of its institutional experience in enforcing competition laws. Continue Reading CCI Steps up Advocacy Measures for Healthcare: Policy Note on ‘Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare’

sixth amendment to competition law india

In an attempt to further streamline the merger control process, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has for the sixth time[1] since the introduction of the merger control regime in India, amended the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (Combination Regulations).

The amendments to the Combination Regulations, notified on 9 October 2018(Amendment Regulations), reiterate the CCI’s constant endeavour to bring greater clarity and transparency to the merger control process. Continue Reading Sixth Set of Amendments to the Combination Regulations

Rajasthan Cylinders and Containers Ltd v Union of India & Anr - Competition Law 

Can enterprises be in violation of the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act) when prevailing market conditions are themselves not conducive to a competitive market?

This is an interesting question relating to enforcement of the Competition Act, which was dealt with by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court) in the case of Rajasthan Cylinders and Containers Ltd v Union of India & Anr[1].

The case arose from a tender floated by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) for the purchase of LPG cylinders. Curiously, it was not IOCL (the buyer) that had approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleging contravention of the Competition Act. In fact, it was an LPG cylinder manufacturer that approached the CCI challenging the tender conditions imposed by IOCL. However, while the case against IOCL was closed, during the investigation of the aforesaid tender, the Director General (DG) noticed a similar pattern in a bid submission by LPG cylinder manufacturers. This chain of events led the CCI to initiate an inquiry, on its own motion, into the alleged cartelisation and bid-rigging by LPG cylinder manufacturers. Continue Reading Supreme Court Builds on Excel Crop Care Judgment to Examine Oligopsony in a Cartel Matter

 

Panasonic India granted 100% penalty reduction under leniency regime

In a recent order, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has granted Panasonic Energy India Co. Ltd. (“Panasonic India”) and its office bearers, a 100% penalty reduction under the leniency regime provided by the Competition Act, 2002 (Act).[1] This is the second time Panasonic India has been granted full immunity under the leniency regime in India.

Continue Reading Panasonic Granted 100% Leniency in Second Batteries Cartel Case

Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) published advocacy material in the form of a competition assessment toolkit intended for policymakers, researchers, analysts, and competition stakeholders; and a diagnostic toolkit for procurement officers. This furthers the CCI’s mandate of taking suitable measures for the promotion of competition advocacy, creating awareness and imparting training about competition issues.

Continue Reading CCI Diagnostic Toolkits for Competition Assessment and Procurement Officers in Competitive Tenders

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has, for the sixth time since the introduction of the merger control regime in India, proposed amendments (Proposed Amendments) to the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (Combination Regulations).

The Combination Regulations are the principal regulations governing the merger notification process in India.[1] Some of the changes proposed by the CCI seem to be aimed at addressing issues that have arisen in the implementation of the merger control regime over the past couple of years whereas others seek to incorporate procedures that are already being followed by the CCI in practice. The changes, currently in draft form while the CCI seeks stakeholder views , are highlighted in brief below. Continue Reading CCI Proposes Amendments to Combination Regulations

The Competition Commission of India (CCI), in its order dated 11 July 2018[1], has awarded a 100 per cent reduction in penalty to leniency applicants Globecast India Private Limited (GI) and Globecast Asia Private Limited (GA) (collectively referred to as Globecast), along with their respective responsible office-bearers. It has also awarded a 30 per cent reduction to Essel Shyam Communication Limited (now Planetcast Media Services Limited) (ESCL) along with their responsible officer bearers, in a cartel case in the broadcasting services industry.

This is the latest and the fourth such order of the CCI granting reduction of penalty to applicant(s) under Section 46 of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act) and the Competition Commission of India (Lesser Penalty) Regulations, 2009 (Leniency Regulations).

Continue Reading Fourth Order in Less than Two Years: The CCI’s Leniency Regime Gathers Momentum

Can an enterprise agree with its competitors not to hire each other’s employees without violating antitrust laws? Like any other practice of an enterprise, hiring practices may also violate antitrust laws. From an antitrust perspective, enterprises competing against each other to hire or retain employees are competitors in the employment marketplace irrespective of whether they sell the same product or provide the same services. Therefore, any agreement between employers, expressly or implicitly, agreeing not to hire each other’s employees, even if done to reduce costs, may violate antitrust laws.

With increasing protectionist barriers around the globe, companies are rushing to find new opportunities to expand and grow. As a result, competition among companies is unavoidable. This competition is not limited to goods or services offered by these companies and may extend to the hiring of employees, especially in industries where skilled talent is required. Companies have a collective interest to eliminate this competition by forming a no-poaching agreement amongst themselves, which restricts hiring each other’s employees. However, no-poaching agreements may be in violation of antitrust laws as they impose restrictions on employees to pursue other jobs, as well as limiting their remuneration.

The Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) has highlighted this issue by publishing an Advisory Bulletin: ‘Competition concerns regarding certain practices in employment marketplace in relating to hiring and terms and conditions of employment’. Before reporting some of the key findings and recommendations of the HKCC, we map the competition law developments in this area from around the globe.*

Continue Reading Non-solicitation in the Context of Competition and Labour Laws

* This piece was first published in the February 2018 issue of the Practical Lawyer (2018) PL (Comp. L) Feb 75


The boom in the technology and internet arenas has globally accelerated the growth of the digital economy. This has significantly aided the mechanism of collecting, processing and commercially exploiting the data in the hands of large corporations and even start-ups. Commonly referred to as ‘big data’, the concept refers to large volumes of a variety of data which is collected at high velocity and is then processed by computing softwares to produce unique datasets which has significant commercial value.[1] While the collection and use of personal data falls under the domain of data protection laws, a question that is now being examined by several competition law regulators is whether the use of big data can impact competition in the markets.

Before we delve into this question, it is pertinent to consider the advantages and efficiencies which result from the commercial exploitation of big data. Consider the modus operandi of any frequently used search engine. It would use self-learning computing algorithms which would observe, record and analyze search terms keyed in by the users, the websites ‘clicked on’ and combine it with data collected from its other applications and services such as e-mail or data processing services to create detailed user profiles. It would then use, and maybe even sell, these unique and individualized information assets to various online advertisers and retailers for targeted advertising.[2] Consider also the personalized recommendations of products and services that a user receives on various e-commerce platforms or on social networking websites based on the purchasing history, the keywords typed, and the general and personal information provided to these websites. Therefore, by closely tracking and analyzing the users’ needs and studying the consumer demand pattern, big data immensely assists in improving the quality of goods and services and their targeted advertising. It also improves the decision-making on the supply side by improving market predictions and the operational efficiency of manufacturers.[3]

Continue Reading Big Data: Emerging Concerns under Competition Law