Posts Tagged ‘Competition Commission of India (CCI)’


CCI Holds Round-Table Meeting With Top Corporates, Emphasises Competition Compliance for Good Corporate Governance

Competition Commission of India today held a round-table meeting with top companies of the country on the subject of “Competition Compliance for Good Corporate Governance”. Representatives of trade associations/industry associations such as ASSOCHAM, FICCI, CII and PHDCCI also attended the meeting.

Addressing the representatives of the companies, Mr. Sachin Pilot, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Corporate Affairs, stressed that the foremost objective of Competition Commission of India is to ensure protection of consumers. Underlying the importance of healthy competition, the Minister said that a fair Regulatory environment would help the Indian economy in moving up higher in the global business index.

Mr. Sachin Pilot advised CCI that it should keep an eye on situations that appear to be anti-competitive such as rising profit margins inspite of reducing production levels. He emphasized that Govt. believes in consultation before taking a decision. The amendments to the Competition Act have already been sent to the Standing Committee of the Parliament and he was hopeful that after seeking views/ suggestions, the amendments to the Competition Act would be given a legislative sanction.

During the round-table discussion, number of suggestions/ views were put up by the corporates as well as industry associations. Some companies requested the Govt. to ensure level playing field between public and private sector. The Minister assured that no reverse discrimination for govt. companies would be normally allowed though he was of the view that the social objectives of the public sector was also to be kept in mind while deciding a level playing field.

Interacting with the corporate during the round-table discussion, Mr. Ashok Chawla, Chairman, CCI, informed that since its inception, orders have been issued in more than 230 cases out of the 320 cases investigated by CCI. Mr. Chawla sought to nullify any suggestions of any tilt towards govt sector in matters concerning Competition Act and informed that CCI has issued orders in 21 cases where govt. enterprises were a party.

Chairman, CCI suggested the corporates to set up a high level Competition Compliance Committee in their respective organizations to review competition compliance. He also informed that SEBI would be requested to include competition compliance under Section 49 of Listing Agreements.

Representatives of trade associations gave wide gamut of suggestions such as widening of advocacy efforts of CCI, listing the dominant players in each sector, incentives to companies with better competition compliance record etc. CCI assured that the suggestions made in the Round Table meeting would be kept in mind.

The round-table meeting held today by CCI with the corporates was part of advocacy initiatives of Competition Commission of India. Top 100 Indian companies based on the market capitalization were invited for the meeting.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


CCI Issues Cease and Desist Order against Northern India Motion Pictures Association

The Competition Commission of India passed its final order today against Northern India Motion Pictures Association (NIMPA) directing it to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct. The order has been issued in a case filed by M/s Shri Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Limited against NIMPA and other film associations alleging inter alia contravention of the provisions of sections 3 (anti-competitive agreements)of the Competition Act, 2002.

The Commission found NIMPA’s practices of pressurizing the distributors to settle the monetary disputes with its members to be in contravention of the provisions of Competition Act. Accordingly, the Commission also directed NIMPA to file an undertaking regarding compliance of its order within a period of 30 days from the receipt of the order.

As NIMPA was already directed by the Commission in earlier cases to suitably modify its Articles of Association, rules and regulations and remove the condition of compulsory registration of films as a pre-condition for release of any film, the Commission did not find it necessary to pass similar directions again in the present case. The Commission also did not find it appropriate to impose any penalty upon NIMPA in light of the facts and circumstances of the present case.

The order of Commission has been passed in Case No. 71 of 2011 and a copy of the order has been uploaded on the website of CCI at www.cci.gov.in.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


Eminent Persons Advisory Group Suggests CCI to Focus on Promoting the Competition Culture in the Country

The Eminent Persons Advisory Group (EPAG) that held its second meeting in Delhi today suggested that time has come wherein the culture of total governance should now be replaced with culture of competition in the country. . Mr. N.L.Mitra, former Vice Chancellor, NLSIU and Member of EPAG said that Competition Commission should initiate dialogue with Govt. Organizations and promote practices that foster competition. He said that in a multi regulatory system, sectoral regulators will manage the systems and would act as functional regulators. Competition Commission being a market regulator should therefore focus on promotion of culture. It was suggested to CCI that whenever a case of merger and acquisition is brought before it, the concerned companies should be asked to submit a competition due diligence report.

Mr. V.N.Kaul, former CAG & Member, EPAG, also stressed on the need of conducting a study into the competition practices of govt. policies. He also suggested CCI to have a look at the orders of Sectoral Regulators from the competition angle.

Dr. S.L.Rao, ex-Chairman, CERC & Member, EPAG, suggested that agriculture marketing was a major area where competition is minimum, farmers are not having direct access to the market to sell their goods and they are forced to go through intermediaries. Dr. Rao suggested CCI to examine in great detail the field of agriculture marketing to promote competition in the area. He also suggested that CCI should take steps to ensure greater media visibility about the Competition Act.

Chairman of Competition Commission of India, Mr. Ashok Chawla, apprised the EPAG about the activities undertaken during the past six months. Mr. Chawla told EPAG that in the Anti Trust Division, 50 cases including three suo motto cases have been received during the last six months. A total of 321 cases have been received by the CCI since its inception in May, 2009. Out of this, 230 cases have already been settled. The total penalty imposed in the decided cases amounts to more than Rs.8,000 crores. In respect of merger cases, approvals have been accorded within the self-imposed time deadline of 30 days.

The Eminent Persons Advisory Group was set up by CCI in May, 2012 to give broad inputs and advice on larger issues impacting markets and competition, good international practices, improved advocacy etc. to the Commission.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


The Competition Commission of India passed a supplementary order modifying the Apartment Buyers Agreement entered into between DLF and the apartment allottees. This order under Section 27 of the Competition Act, 2002 relates to the order of the Hon’ble Competition Appellate Tribunal of March 29, 2012, by which the Commission was directed to pass an order specifying the extent and manner in which the terms and conditions of the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement need to be modified. This order has been passed under Section 27(d) of the Competition Act.

The Commission in its order after considering the modified terms of the Apartment Buyers Agreement submitted by both parties, has modified the terms of the Apartment Buyers Agreement in a manner which it considers fair and reasonable and takes into account the interest of both parties.

The Commission in its earlier order dated August 12, 2011 had held that DLF Ltd. was a dominant enterprise which had violated the provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002 by entering into an agreement with apartment allottees that was one sided, abusive and unfair to the allottees. Accordingly the Apartment Buyers Agreement has been amended such that the abusive and unfair conditions present in the original one sided agreement have been removed. The Commission in its order has also considered the relevant provisions of the laws applicable to the development of group housing projects in Haryana, particularly the mandatory requirements which must be followed by every developer/builder, but which were not followed by DLF Ltd. in this case.

The order of the Commission has been passed in Case No. 19 of 2010 and a copy of the order has been uploaded on the website of the CCI at www.cci.gov.in.

Source: Press Information Bureau.


Competition Commission of India (CCI) – Promoting Fair Competition for the Consumers.

Free and fair competition is one of the pillars of an efficient market economy.  Therefore, competition has become a driving force in the global economy.  In India, Competition Commission of India (CCI) was set up in March, 2009 under the Competition Act, 2002 to protect and promote competition.  Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, relating to anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance were notified in May, 2009, while sections 5 and 6, relating to mergers and acquisitions, were notified from June 1, 2011.  The Indian competition law has thus fully come into force.  The overarching aim of the Commission is to make markets work well for the benefit of consumers.

Cartelization doesn’t pay: Cement companies penalized

The Commission has found cement manufacturers in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 which deals with anticompetitive agreements including cartels. The order was passed pursuant to investigation carried out by the Director General (DG) upon information filed by Builders Association of India. The Commission has imposed penalty on eleven cement manufacturers named in the information at the rate of 0.5 times of their profit for the year 2009-10 and 2010-11. The penalty so worked out amounts to more than six thousand six hundred crores. 

CCI completes one successful year of Combinations Regulation (Merger Review)

One of the Commission’s most significant priorities has been to build an efficient merger control regime.

The merger review process by the Commission has completed one year on May 31, 2012. During this period, the Commission received sixty one notices. All the notices have been cleared within the self-imposed limit of thirty days.

Regulations updates

The Competition Commission of India, after gaining experience of implementation of the Combination Regulations for almost nine months amended the Regulations. This was done with a view to provide relief to the corporate entities from making filings for combinations  unlikely to raise adverse competition concerns, reduce their compliance requirements, make filings simpler and move towards certainty in the application of the Act.

CCI Keeps Promise of Fast Track Clearance of Combination Filings

The Commission approved 18 combination filings during this quarter. All filings were cleared within a period of 30 days from the date of filing the notice under Combinations Regulations 2011. It was held in all these cases that the proposed combinations were not likely to cause appreciable adverse effect on competition in relevant markets in India.

INVESTIGATIONS INITIATED

i) Alleged Abuse of Dominance: The Competition Commission of India has initiated an investigation against the global internet giant Google, for its alleged involvement in anti-competitive practices in India.Google is currently battling antitrust probes in five continents. 

ii) Alleged Abuse of Dominant Position by Coal India Limited: It was brought to the notice of CCI that due to the monopoly position of CIL, it has been able to indulge in abuse of its monopoly power by way of enforcing a non-transparent contract regarding the quality and other parameters of coal. While implementing the terms of the contract, CIL is supplying poor quality coal, which is lumpy, sticky and wet. The international practice of washing coal is also not being followed. CCI found that there exists a prima facie and directed the DG to investigate the same.

ADVOCACY INITIATIVES

i) Publicity Campaign:  Competition Act mandates Competition Advocacy to promote competition, create awareness and impart training about competition issues. CCI had initiated a print publicity campaign as part of advocacy initiative.  Advertisements were released nation-wide in Hindi, English as well as the prominent regional languages.

ii) Second National Level Essay Competition 2012: CCI organised its second national level “Annual Essay Competition”, taking cognizance of the fact that students are important stakeholders in the realm of competition law.  The announcement for competition elicited overwhelming response from students across the country. Students spanning from remote corners of the country to the metro cities participated in the competition. The overwhelming response to the competition can be gauged from the fact that even Indian students studying in foreign universities sent their entries for the competition.

NEW INITIATIVES

i) Eminent Persons Advisory Group Constituted: The Commission has constituted an Eminent Persons Advisory Group (EPAG) to get inputs and expert advice from eminent persons in various fields on a broad range of issues relevant for effective fulfillment of CCI`s mandate. The first meeting of the EPAG was held on July 23, 2012 at CCI office.

ii) Knowledge Partnership Initiative (KPI) Launched: CCI has launched a new initiative “Knowledge Partnership Initiative (KPI)” with the objective of helping to build a strong knowledge base in the field of competition law, promoting competition law compliance and expanding the outreach of competition law in the country. Under this initiative, a meeting with the prominent law schools in India was organised on September 14, 2012 in CCI.

iii)  Distinguished Visitor Knowledge Sharing Series (DVKS): Mr. U.K. Sinha, Chairman, Security & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) delivered the fourth lecture under the “Distinguished Visitor Knowledge Sharing Series” on “Securities Market Regulations – An Overview” on September 10, 2012 in CCI. Such lectures play an instrumental role in capacity building of CCI officials.

iv) Capacity Building: Knowledgeable and well trained professionals are vital for effective enforcement of the Competition Act. The Commission has been regularly organising capacity building events during last three years in collaboration with mature jurisdictions like US and EU.

v) Engaging with the world:  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Antitrust Agencies Signed: MOU is expected to strengthen the existing friendly relations between Indian and US competition authorities

vi) CCI Chairperson Elected to Chair UNCTAD`s Twelfth Session of Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy

vii) CCI Annual Day Workshop in collaboration with UNCTAD: Competition Commission of India (CCI) commemorated its Annual Day  i.e. enforcement of the Competition Law in the country by organizing a workshop jointly with UNCTAD on May 21-22, 2012 in New Delhi on “Competition Law & State Owned Enterprises”. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, Hon’ble Minister of Corporate Affairs. The workshop was attended by more than  hundred participants, which included CMDs of NTPC, Oil India, IOCL and Shipping Corporation of India, senior officials from various PSUs, representatives from academia, professional organizations etc.

Source: Press Information Bureau.