In an order published on August 23, 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) penalised Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) to the tune of INR 2 billion (approx. USD 27 million) for restricting and controlling the discounts offered by its dealers to the end consumers. Such conduct by India’s leading passenger vehicle manufacturer was held to be anti-competitive resale price maintenance (RPM), and thus violative of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (as amended) (Competition Act).
Continue Reading Penalty for penalty: CCI penalises Maruti Suzuki for indulging in resale price maintenance
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) adapted nimbly to the challenges of 2020 and focused on digital payment platforms and cartel investigations; a few merger cases threw up interesting results as well. The much-anticipated guidance notes for the amended Form I notice were also a key highlight in 2020.
Continue Reading The Antitrust Year in Review – 2020
In an interim order dated 9 March 2021, the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) has asked MakeMyTrip India Private Limited (“MMT”) and Ibibo Group Private Limited (“Ibibo”) to relist the hotels of Casa2Stays Private Limited (“FabHotels”) and Rubtub Solutions Private Limited (“Treebo”) on their platforms.
The CCI granted interim relief while adjudicating the applications filed by Treebo and FabHotels. The Competition Act, 2002 (as amended) (“Act”) gives power to the CCI to grant temporary injunction restraining any party from carrying on acts which are in contravention of certain provisions of the Act, until the conclusion of such inquiry or until further orders.
Continue Reading CCI issues interim order to relist FabHotels and Treebo
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has introduced updated guidance notes for drafting the short form merger filing i.e., Form I. The guidance lists the scope of information and documents required to be submitted as part of the Form I notification that one files with the CCI. Some of the key changes to the guidance notes and their implications have been discussed below:…
The outbreak of the COVID -19 pandemic has disrupted business globally including, in some cases, the disrupters themselves. As companies around the world prepare to respond to the effects of this pandemic on their businesses, they must become aware of the challenges and opportunities that competition law present. Businesses that are expecting significant losses due to reduced revenue may look at cooperation with their competitors as the one way of overcoming these tough times. On the other hand, companies selling essential/scarce products such as medical supplies, may attempt to capitalise on this situation by increasing prices or bundling non-essential products with the essential ones. Whilst coordination between competitors (either by way of collaboration or through concerted practices) or imposition of unfair and/or discriminatory prices or conditions may seem to be an obvious and efficient way to respond to or benefit from the current challenges, companies need to be mindful of the fact that the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Competition Act) continue to apply even during the tough times, perhaps even more so.
Continue Reading COVID -19 and Competition Law Concerns
In a recent judgement, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (Delhi HC) clarified that the absence of a judicial member did not preclude the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from performing its adjudicatory function until such time the judicial member was appointed by the Central Government.
On 17 July 2018, the Delhi HC passed this judgement in respect of a writ petition filed before it by Cadd Systems and Services Private Limited (Petitioner). The petition challenged two orders of the CCI for contravention of the law laid down by a division bench of Delhi HC in Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. & Ors. v. Competition Commission of India & Anr. (W.P. (C) 11467/2018 & connected matters) (Mahindra Judgment).…
Continue Reading Delhi High Court Clarifies the Scope of Directions Passed in Mahindra Judgment Re Appointment of Judicial Member
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.
Continue Reading Landmark Decision: Constitutional Validity of Certain Provisions of the Competition Act
The 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’
In an attempt to further streamline the merger control process, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has for the sixth time 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
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.
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