Photo of Anisha Chand

Principal Associate in the Competition Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Anisha advises on a full range of competition matters, including merger control, abuse of dominance and cartel enforcement.

* 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

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


With the USD 130 billion merger between global agrochemical giants – Dow Chemicals and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) being granted a green chit by the European Commission (EC) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the significance of innovation in merger assessment has witnessed a renewed focus. The extent and role of innovation in the concerned market is one of the factors that antitrust regulators are required to consider while evaluating a proposed transaction. Ordinarily, this exercise is undertaken to study the impact of the transaction on future innovation and any competitive harm which may result from reduction in the incentives to innovate as also the pro-competitive outcomes emanating from operational synergies which enhance innovation.[1]

In the Dow/DuPont merger,[2] the relevance of innovation was discussed at length by the EC which observed that the merger would not only significantly impede competition in the pesticides and petrochemical industries, at a global level, but would also reduce future innovation in the global pesticides industry. It was noted that the development of effective and environment friendly pesticides required large scale investments and continuous research and development (R&D) and globally, only five players were engaged in R&D in the field of pesticides.[3] The Dow/DuPont merger therefore, would further consolidate market power in an already highly concentrated industry with significant entry barriers and would substantially reduce the parties’ incentives to innovate in the pesticides sector.

Continue Reading Towards a New Jurisprudence: Role of Innovation in Merger Control