Constitutional Validity of Certain provisions of Competition Act

In a landmark decision on 10 April 2019, a division bench of the High Court of Delhi (Delhi HC), pronounced a judgment relating to a batch of petitions filed by car manufacturers, which challenged the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act).

The genesis of the matter arose from the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) findings in what has come to be known as the Auto Parts Case. The complaint alleged that three car manufacturers, M/s. Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd and Fiat India Automobiles Limited, restricted free availability of spare parts in the open market, which caused a denial of market access for independent repairers. This was in addition to other anti-competitive effects including high prices of spare parts and repair and maintenance services for automobiles.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


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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.

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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.
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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).


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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.*


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