The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently issued a notification exempting regional rural banks (RRBs) from the applicability of the merger control regime in India. The notification provides that Sections 5 and 6 of the Competition Act 2002, which regulate combinations, will not apply to amalgamations of RRBs for which the government has issued a notification under the Regional Rural Banks Act 1976. This exemption is applicable for a five-year period.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently found the Container Trailer Owners Coordination Committee and its four participating associations guilty of anti-competitive conduct for imposing a turn system which had led to unilaterally fixed prices. However, the CCI held that certain mitigating circumstances existed in favour of the defendants and therefore imposed no penalty on them. Instead, it merely directed them to desist from indulging in such anti-competitive conduct in future.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently closed a case against OLA Cabs for the alleged abuse of its dominant position in the market for radio taxi services in Bengaluru. The CCI found that the company held no such position in the market and that competitors regularly engaged in practices such as below-cost pricing and offering loyalty discounts. Reluctant to intervene in a nascent market, the CCI exemplified the growing trend for economic analysis in decision making in India.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently dismissed claims against Sanofi India Limited for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the market of drugs and pharmaceutical products. The CCI found that Sanofi enjoyed no dominant position and therefore held that there was no prima facie case to investigate its alleged conduct.
The Competition Commission of India recently dismissed allegations of anti-competitive conduct against the producers and presenters of the film Kahaani-2, as well as two digital cinema service providers (DCSP). The plaintiff claimed that the defendants had entered into an anti-competitive agreement to control the release of Kahaani-2 and deny other DCSPs operating in the market access to the film.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently imposed a penalty of Rs870 million on Hyundai Motor India Limited on the grounds that the company's dealership agreement had maintained resale prices through discount control and penalty mechanisms. Further, the CCI held that Hyundai had tied the sale of its cars to the sale of specific lubricants and oils, restricting competition in the relevant market and constituting a tie-in arrangement under the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently approved the amalgamation of telecoms service operators Bharti Airtel and Telenor through a court-driven merger scheme. The CCI held that Airtel was unlikely to have the ability or incentive to restrict supply services in the relevant markets for retail mobile telephony and national and international long-distance services. As the merger was unlikely to raise competition concerns, it was approved under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of India recently initiated an investigation into the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) for abuse of its dominant position in the market for the development and sale of low-cost residential flats under affordable housing schemes in lower economic areas in Ghaziabad. The CCI held that the GDA's conduct in increasing the price of flats was unfair on buyers and violated the Competition Act. It therefore instructed the director general to conduct an investigation into the GDA.
The Competition Commission of India recently initiated an investigation into the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for alleged abuse of its dominant position in relation to the delayed allotment of residential flats to the middle income group under the Rohini Residential Plot Scheme 1981. The order marks the commission's third investigation into the DDA for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the market for residential flats in Delhi.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently imposed a Rs2.5 million penalty on Schulke & Mayr GmBH for failure to give notice of its global acquisition of the advanced sterilisation products division of Ethicon Inc – a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The CCI held that Schulke should have filed notice within 30 days of executing the global asset purchase agreement and not the country transfer agreement, as argued by Schulke.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently approved its first leniency application and granted a 75% reduction of the fine imposed on the leniency applicant. The CCI noted that the applicant was the first and only party to admit to the existence of a cartel and the bid-rigging activities. In granting the reduction, the CCI has demonstrated that it is extending its leniency programme to include officials and those in charge of companies under investigation.
The Competition Commission of India recently imposed a penalty of Rs2.05 billion on seven cement manufacturers for bid rigging in the supply of cement to the Haryana Directorate of Supplies and Disposals. It found that the defendants had violated the Competition Act by quoting bidding prices and total quantities that were significantly higher than the corresponding increase in the wholesale price index and the total quantity of the previous year's tender, respectively.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently penalised the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists and the Film Employees Federation of Kerala for boycotting a competitor in violation of the Competition Act. The CCI held that the parties had not only imposed a ban on the complainant, but had also influenced actors and technicians who worked or commenced work with him.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently initiated an investigation into the Haryana Public Works Department for the alleged abuse of its dominant position in relation to a tender document for the construction of a railway bridge. The CCI found that various clauses of the tender document were unfair and discriminatory and therefore violated Section 4 of the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently imposed a penalty of Rs500,000 on two investors for violation of the Competition Act after they failed to file notice of their acquisition of equity shares in a pharmaceutical company. The CCI held that since the investors had entered into a shareholder agreement entitling them to certain affirmative rights, the acquisition could not be treated solely as an investment and therefore was not exempted under CCI regulations.
The Competition Commission of India has closed the case against Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for the alleged abuse of its dominant position in the generation and distribution of electricity. The commission held that the price of electricity had been set by the relevant regulatory commission and that, in the absence of explicit provisions, MSEDCL could not grant permission for open access through the Indian Energy Exchange.
In accordance with international best practices, the Competition Commission of India recently issued a guidance note on non-compete restriction clauses to enable parties to a combination to achieve clarity and legal certainty with respect to the treatment of non-compete restrictions. However, the guidance note is not binding on parties to a proposed combination and is merely directive in nature.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently exempted the parties to a combination from notifying the Competition Commission of India within the 30-day period provided under Section 6(2) of the Competition Act 2002. The notification is a welcome step, as it reduces the burden on parties to ensure strict adherence to the 30-day period provided under Section 6(2) of the act and aligns the Indian merger control regime with international best practices.
The Competition Commission of India recently approved the National Buildings Construction Corporation's acquisition of a 51% shareholding in Hindustan Steel Works Construction Limited. It held that as the companies have no significant presence in any markets likely to be affected by the proposed acquisition, the combined entity would continue to face constraints from other competitors.
The Competition Commission of India recently reaffirmed that Coal India Limited violated Section 4 of the Competition Act by abusing its dominant position in the supply of non-coking coal to thermal power plants in India. However, it imposed a reduced penalty at the rate of 1% of the company's turnover on account of changes implemented to the sampling of coal during the pendency of the proceedings and investigation.