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Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted

Topics covered:

  1. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Competition law- features, issues and the need for review.

 

Context: Report of the Competition Law Review Committee submitted to Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister.

 

The key recommendations of the Competition Law Review Committee are:

  1. Introduction of a ‘Green Channel’ for combination notifications to enable fast-paced regulatory approvals for vast majority of mergers and acquisitions that may have no major concerns regarding appreciable adverse effects on competition. Combinations arising out of the insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will also be eligible for “Green Channel” approvals.
  2. Introducing a dedicated bench in NCLATfor hearing appeals under the Competition Act.
  3. Introduction of express provisions to identify ‘hub and spoke’ agreements as well as agreements that do not fit within typical horizontal or vertical anti-competitive structures to cover agreements related to business structures and models synonymous with new age markets. 
  4. Additional enforcement mechanism of ‘Settlement & Commitments” in the interests of speedier resolution of cases of anti-competitive conduct.
  5. Enabling provisions to prescribe necessary thresholds, inter alia, deal-value threshold for merger notifications.  
  6. CCI to issue guidelines on imposition of penaltyto ensure more transparency and faster decision making which will encourage compliance by businesses.
  7. Strengthening the governance structure of CCI with the introduction of a Governing Board to oversee advocacy and quasi-legislative functions, leaving adjudicatory functions to the Whole-time Members.
  8. Merging DG’s Office with CCI as an ‘Investigation Division’ as it aids CCI in discharging an inquisitorial rather than adversarial mandate. However, functional autonomy must be protected. 
  9. Opening of CCI offices at regional levelto carry out non-adjudicatory functions such as research, advocacy etc. and interaction with State Governments and State regulators.

 

Background:

The Government constituted a Competition Law Review Committee on 1st October, 2018 to review the existing Competition law framework and make recommendations to further strengthen the framework to inter alia meet new economy challenges.

 

The Competition Act:

The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.

 

Need for review:

During the past nine years the size of the Indian Economy has grown immensely and India is today amongst the top five  Economies in the World and poised to forge ahead further. In this context, it is essential that Competition Law is strengthened, and re-calibrated to promote best practices which result in the citizens of this country achieving their aspirations and value for money.