The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is an important statutory body for consumer welfare. Read here to know more.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, of 2002.
It was duly constituted in March 2009.
The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) was repealed and replaced by the Competition Act, 2002, on the recommendations of the Raghavan committee.
The Competition Act
The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, follows the philosophy of modern competition laws.
The Act prohibits:
- anti-competitive agreements
- abuse of dominant position by enterprises
- regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control, and M&A)
which cause or are likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
Competition Commission of India
By the provisions of the Amendment Act, the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Appellate Tribunal have been established.
The provisions of the Competition Act relating to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position were notified on May 20, 2009.
The objectives of the Act are sought to be achieved through the Competition Commission of India, which the Central Government has established with effect from 14th October 2003.
The Competition Commission of India is now fully functional with a Chairperson and six members.
The Chairperson and every other Member shall be a person of ability, integrity, and standing and who:
- has been, or is qualified to be a judge of a High Court, or,
- has special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than fifteen years in international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs, administration, or in any other matter which, in the opinion of the Central Government, may be useful to the Commission.
The Commission must eliminate practices hurting 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 an opinion on competition issues on a reference from a statutory authority established under any law, undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.
The commission is a quasi-judicial body that gives opinions to statutory authorities and also deals with other cases.
Appellate Authority – NCLAT
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) constituted under section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013 shall be the Appellate Tribunal for this Competition Act 2002.
The appellate tribunal’s functions are-
- To hear and dispose of appeals against any direction issued or decision made or order passed by the Commission.
- To adjudicate on a claim for compensation that may arise from the findings of the Commission or the orders of the Appellate Tribunal in an appeal against any finding of the Commission.
Vision and mission of Competition Commission of India
To promote and sustain an enabling competition culture through engagement and enforcement that would inspire businesses to be fair, competitive, and innovative; enhance consumer welfare, and support economic growth.
Competition Commission of India aims to establish a robust competitive environment through:
- Proactive engagement with all stakeholders, including consumers, industry, government, and international jurisdictions.
- Being a knowledge-intensive organization with high competence level.
- Professionalism, transparency, resolve, and wisdom in enforcement.
The Competition Commission is India’s competition regulator and an antitrust watchdog for smaller organizations that are unable to defend themselves against large corporations.
CCI has the authority to notify organizations that sell to India if it feels they may be negatively influencing competition in India’s domestic market.
The Competition Act guarantees that no enterprise abuses its dominant position in a market through the control of supply, manipulating purchase prices, or adopting practices that deny market access to other competing firms.
A foreign company seeking entry into India through an acquisition or merger will have to abide by the country’s competition laws.
Assets and turnover above a certain monetary value will bring the group under the purview of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
Functions of the Competition Commission of India (CCI)
- To make the markets work for the benefit and welfare of consumers.
- To ensure fair and healthy competition in economic activities in the country for inclusive growth and development of the economy.
- To implement competition policies to ensure the most efficient utilization of economic resources.
- To develop and nurture effective relations and interactions with sectoral regulators to ensure alignment of sectoral regulatory laws with the competition law.
- To effectively carry out competition advocacy and spread the information on the benefits of competition among all stakeholders to establish and nurture a competition culture in the Indian economy.
CCI Memberships of international organizations:
International Competition Network (ICN): The International Competition Network (ICN) is a virtual international organization and its member represents competition authorities across the globe. The work of ICN takes place in project-oriented Working Groups, where members work together, largely through teleconferences, teleseminars, webinars, workshops, etc.
BRICS Competition Authorities: BRICS is an association of five major emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Similar cooperation exists between the BRICS Competition Authorities. An MoU between the competition authorities of BRICS was signed on May 19, 2016, during the International Legal Forum held in St. Petersburg, Russia
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): The Commission has observer status with the Competition Committee of OECD. The Commission and its officers regularly participate in the meetings of the OECD Competition Committee and the OECD Global Competition Forum to gain exposure to the global best practices in the field of competition law and policy. CCI has been making regular written contributions to the agenda that is deliberated at various roundtables during the conferences/meetings of OECD.