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The Competition Act, 2002 was enacted by the Parliament of India and governs Indian competition law. It replaced the archaic The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. Under this legislation, the Competition Commission of India was established to prevent the activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India.[1][2] This act extends to whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Competition Act, 2002
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An Act to give, keeping in view of the economic development of the country, for the establishment of a Commission to prevent practices having adverse effect on competition, to promote and sustain competition in markets, to protect the interests of consumers and to ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets, in India, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Citation Act No. 12 of 2003
Enacted by Parliament of India
Date assented to 13 January 2003
Date commenced 31 March 2003
Introduced by Arun Jaitley
Repealing legislation
The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969
Status: In force

It is a tool to implement and enforce competition policy and to prevent and punish anti-competitive business practices by firms and unnecessary Government interference in the market. Competition laws is equally applicable on written as well as oral agreement, arrangements between the enterprises or persons.

The Competition Act, 2002 was amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 and again by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2009.

This is an act to establish a commission, protect the interest of the consumers and ensure freedom of trade in markets in India-

  • To prohibit the agreements or practices that restricts free trading and also the competition between two business entities,
  • To ban the abusive situation of the market monopoly,
  • To provide the opportunity to the entrepreneur for the competition in the market,
  • To have the international support and enforcement network across the world,
  • To prevent from anti-competition practices and to promote a fair and healthy competition in the market.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Government of India in April 1964 appointed the Monopolies Inquiry Commission under the Chairmanship of Justice K. C Das Gupta, a judge of the Supreme Court, to inquire into the extent and effect of concentration of economic power in private hands and prevalence of monopolistic and restrictive trade practices in important sectors of economic activity other than agriculture.[3]

To regulate advertising, in 1984, Parliament inserted a chapter on unfair trade practices in the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969.[4]

The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission was constituted in the year 1970.[5]

The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 had its genesis in the Directive Principles of State Policy embodied in the Constitution of India.[6] It received the assent of the President of India on 27 December, 1969.[7] The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act was intended to curb the rise of concentration of wealth in a few hands and of monopolistic practices.[8] It was repealed on September 2009. The Act has been succeeded by The Competition Act, 2002.[citation needed]

The Competition Bill, 2001 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 6 August 2001.[9]

DefinitionsEdit

  • Acquisition: Acquisition means, directly or indirectly, acquiring or agreeing to acquire shares, voting rights or assets of any enterprise or control over management or assets of any enterprise.[10]
  • Cartel: Cartel includes an association of producers, sellers, distributors, traders or service providers who, by agreement among themselves, limit control or attempt to control the production, distribution, sale or price of goods or provision of services.[11]
  • Dominant position: It means a position of strength, enjoyed by an enterprise, in the relevant market which enables it to operate independently of competitive forces prevailing in the market or affect its competitors or consumers in its favour.[12]
  • Predatory pricing: Predatory pricing means the sale of goods or provision of services, at a price which is below the cost of production of the goods or provision of services, with a view to reduce competition or eliminate the competitors.[13]
  • Rule of reasons: It is the analysis of any activity under the challenge on the basis of business justification, competitive intent, market impact, impact on competition and on consumer. It is the logic behind the conclusion for any order.[citation needed]

Salient FeaturesEdit

Anti-Competitive AgreementsEdit

Enterprises, persons or associations of enterprises or persons, including cartels, shall not enter into agreements in respect of production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or provision of services, which cause or are likely to cause an "appreciable adverse impact" on competition in India. Such agreements would consequently be considered void. Agreements which would be considered to have an appreciable adverse impact would be those agreements which-

  • Directly or indirectly determine sale or purchase prices,
  • Limit or control production, supply, markets, technical development, investment or provision of services,
  • Share the market or source of production or provision of services by allocation of inter alia geographical area of market, nature of goods or number of customers or any other similar way,
  • Directly or indirectly result in bid rigging or collusive bidding.

Types of agreementEdit

Competition law identifies two type of agreements. Horizontal agreements which are among the enterprises who are or may compete within same business. Second is the vertical agreement which are among independent enterprise. Horizontal agreement is presumed to be illegal agreement but rule of reasons would be applicable for vertical agreements.

Abuse of dominant positionEdit

There shall be an abuse of dominant position if an enterprise imposes directly or indirectly unfair or discriminatory conditions in purchase or sale of goods or services or restricts production or technical development or create hindrance in entry of new operators to the prejudice of consumers. The provisions relating to abuse of dominant position require determination of dominance in the relevant market.[14]

CombinationsEdit

The Act is designed to regulate the operation and activities of combinations, a term, which contemplates acquisition, mergers or amalgamations. Combination that exceeds the threshold limits specified in the Act in terms of assets or turnover, which causes or is likely to cause adverse impact on competition within the relevant market in India, can be scrutinized by the Commission.

Competition Commission of IndiaEdit

Competition Commission of India[15] is a body corporate and independent entity possessing a common seal with the power to enter into contracts and to sue in its name. It is to consist of a chairperson, who is to be assisted by a minimum of two, and a maximum of ten, other members.[16][17]

It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India. The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.

Commission has the power to inquire into unfair agreements or abuse of dominant position or combinations taking place outside India but having adverse effect on competition in India, if any of the circumstances exists:

  • An agreement has been executed outside India
  • Any contracting party resides outside India
  • Any enterprise abusing dominant position is outside India
  • A combination has been established outside India
  • A party to a combination is located abroad.
  • Any other matter or practice or action arising out of such agreement or dominant position or combination is outside India.

To deal with cross border issues, Commission is empowered to enter into any Memorandum of Understanding or arrangement with any foreign agency of any foreign country with the prior approval of Central Government.

Review of orders of CommissionEdit

Any person aggrieved by an order of the Commission can apply to the Commission for review of its order within thirty days from the date of the order. Commission may entertain a review application after the expiry of thirty days, if it is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the application in time. No order shall be modified or set aside without giving an opportunity of being heard to the person in whose favour the order is given and the Director General where he was a party to the proceedings.[18]

AppealEdit

Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Commission may file an appeal to the Supreme Court within sixty days from the date of communication of the decision or order of the Commission. No appeal shall lie against any decision or order of the Commission made with the consent of the parties.[19]

PenaltyEdit

If any person fails to comply with the orders or directions of the Commission shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ₹ 1 lakh for each day during which such non compliance occurs, subject to a maximum of ₹ 10 crore.[20]

If any person does not comply with the orders or directions issued, or fails to pay the fine imposed under this section, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which will extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to ₹ 25 crores or with both.

Section 44 provides that if any person, being a party to a combination makes a statement which is false in any material particular or knowing it to be false or omits to state any material particular knowing it to be material, such person shall be liable to a penalty which shall not be less than ₹ 50 lakhs but which may extend to ₹ 1 crore.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sub-section 1 of Section 7 of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "CCI will be in full operation next year". The Hindu. 2007-09-11. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  3. ^ The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. Georg Thieme Verlag. 
  4. ^ Pathak, Akhileshwar (2016-04-18). "New law, statutory body imperative to foster fair trade practices in India". Livemint. 
  5. ^ Singh, Ravi Karan (1989-01-01). Restrictive Trade Practices and Public Interest. Mittal Publications. ISBN 9788170991724. 
  6. ^ "THE MONOPOLIES AND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES ACT, 1969 POLICY,PROVISIONS AND PERFORMANCE" (PDF). 
  7. ^ The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. Georg Thieme Verlag. 
  8. ^ Legal Aspects of Business. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. 2013-01-01. ISBN 9781259026584. 
  9. ^ "Competition Bill introduced", The Hindu, 6 August 2001 
  10. ^ "Section 2(a) of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  11. ^ "Section 2(c) of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  12. ^ "Section 4 (explanation) of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  13. ^ "Section 4 (explanation) of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  14. ^ "Section 4 of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  15. ^ "About CCI | Competition Commission of India". www.cci.gov.in. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  16. ^ "Organogram | Competition Commission of India". www.cci.gov.in. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  17. ^ "`CCI to act as nodal agency to check anti-competitive practices'". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  18. ^ "Section 37 of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  19. ^ "Section 40 of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 
  20. ^ "Section 43 of Competition Act 2002". Indian Kanoon. 

External linksEdit