The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently penalised several sugar mills and their trade associations for indulging in cartelisation in contravention of the Competition Act 2002. This case demonstrates the CCI's shift towards punishing apparent coordination between competitors based on legal grounds and ignoring the market realities. It also illustrates how trade associations facilitate coordination between competitors.
By way of a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court recently clarified some important procedural ambiguities surrounding an inquiry by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) under the Competition Act. Significantly, the court clarified when a recall application can be filed and stated that while exercising its discretion in permitting cross-examinations under the Competition Commission of India (General) Regulations, the CCI must act judicially.
By way of two separate orders, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed two allegations of abuse of dominance against DLF Limited and DLF New Gurgaon Home Developers Pvt Limited by holding that the enterprises were not in a dominant position in Gurgaon during the relevant period. This is the first time that the CCI has introduced the concept of 'relevant period' when determining the market position of an enterprise which was previously held to be dominant in the same relevant market.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty on the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) for abusing its dominant position. The CCI held that the GDA had violated the Competition Act by raising the cost of flats meant for Ghaziabad's economically weaker sections from Rs200,000 in 2008 to Rs750,000 in 2015 without including an enabling provision in either the scheme brochure or the allotment letter.
In a writ petition filed by Cadila Health Care, the Delhi High Court held that the stage for challenging a prima facie order closes once the director general files its report before the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The court held that the CCI is under no obligation to record a prima facie case against every aspect involved in the matter, as it cannot foresee or predict whether a violation of the Competition Act will be found following the director general's investigation.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition of Binani Cement Ltd by Rajputana Properties, a subsidiary of Dalmia Bharat Cement Ltd. This is the first transaction to be notified to the CCI involving the acquisition of a corporate debtor under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016. The transaction was cleared by the CCI within 13 working days of it being filed.
The Supreme Court recently set aside the Competition Appellate Tribunal's decision in which, while dismissing a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order, it had held that a denial of market access as envisaged under Section 4(2)(c) of the Competition Act can be occasioned only to a competitor. While rejecting the narrow interpretation of Section 4(2)(c) of the act, the Supreme Court held that the CCI has a positive duty to eliminate all practices which adversely affect competition.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently imposed a cumulative penalty of approximately Rs540 million on Jet Airways (India) Ltd, InterGlobe Aviation Limited and SpiceJet Limited for fixing fuel surcharge (FSC) rates for cargo transport. The CCI reasoned that the increase in the FSC on the same or nearly the same day indicated that the airlines had an understanding.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently directed the director general to investigate Honda Motorcycle and Scooter Private Ltd for allegations regarding the imposition of vertical restraints and abuse of its dominant position in the market for the manufacture and sale of scooters in India. The director general was directed to conduct a detailed investigation after the CCI arrived at a prima facie finding that some of Honda's activities had violated the Competition Act.
Continuing its slew of exemptions, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has exempted all public sector oil and gas companies (created under the Petroleum Act 1934) from pre-merger scrutiny by the Competition Commission of India under Sections 5 and 6 of the Competition Act 2002. The exemption – which will be valid for five years from the date of the official Gazette notification – also extends to all wholly or partly owned subsidiaries of such companies.
In 2017 the Competition Commission of India (CCI) found a prima facie case of abuse of a dominant position by the Haryana Urban Development Authority and sent the case to the director general for further investigation. Despite the Haryana Urban Development Authority Act and Regulations being the governing law in the case, the CCI opined that it would have jurisdiction to examine the matter in order to establish any anti-competitive conduct or practice under the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has re-imposed a penalty of Rs522.4 million on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for abuse of its dominant position in the market. The BCCI argued that it is a not-for-profit organisation established to promote cricket in India and does not engage in any kind of commercial activity with the aim of profiting. However, the CCI held that despite there being no profit motive, the BCCI should be considered an enterprise under the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of India recently initiated an investigation into Star India Pvt Ltd for an alleged violation of the Competition Act 2002 following claims filed by a private multi-system operator (MSO) engaged in cable TV distribution in the state of Kerala. The claimant alleged that Star India had engaged in anti-competitive behaviour and abused its dominant position by charging excessive licence fees compared with the fees that it had charged the claimant's competitors and other Kerala MSOs.
The Competition Commission of India has directed the All India Film Employee Confederation and various regional associations to cease and desist anti-competitive conduct, including suspending work and boycotting film directors who engage artists from outside the associations. The order establishes the importance of maintaining competition in the marketplace even in matters concerning workers' rights, which are otherwise protected under the respective labour statutes.
The Competition Commission of India recently exonerated nine Research Designs and Standards Organisation-approved suppliers, including four sister companies, following allegations of bid rigging. The decision has further widened the scope of 'bid rigging' within company groups to include instances where subsets of bidders collude among themselves. However, in order to establish collusion between these subsets, the parties' intent and the outcome of their behaviour must also be established.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations of anti-competitive conduct under Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act against the Kerala Film Producers Association and the Film Distributors Association. The CCI found no sufficient material on record to suggest that the defendants had enforced a ban on the distribution of films to the claimant for exhibition in his theatres. Therefore, no violation of the act could be found to have occurred.
The Competition Commission of India recently imposed penalties totalling Rs62.7 million on three chemical companies for bid rigging and collusive bidding under the Competition Act. The order marks a significant positive development in regard to the concept of a 'single economic entity' in India, bringing practice in line with that of mature competition law jurisdictions.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations of anti-competitive conduct against Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and Royal Power Trunkey Implements Private Limited on the grounds that the claimant's grievance stemmed from the defendants' alleged non-adherence to tender conditions and circulars. Therefore, the CCI opined that no case regarding violation of the Competition Act had been made against the defendants.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed monetary penalties on the All Kerala Chemists & Druggists Association and two of its district units, as well as their office bearers, for ordering pharmaceutical companies to obtain no objection notices (NOCs) before appointing new stockists. The CCI issued its first general direction and stern advisory to all pharmaceutical companies to cooperate in eradicating the practice of mandatory NOCs and report any such demand to the CCI.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently exposed a cartel of three top coal-liaisoning companies, holding that in respect of tenders floated for the award of coal-liaisoning contracts, the companies had violated the Competition Act. As the case fell within the category of hardcore cartels, the CCI imposed its highest recorded penalty based on the total profits earned by each company in respect of the tenders.