Ten years of Competition Commission of India
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has completed 10 years while achieving milestones with its market initiatives touching multiple sectors. The government with an aim to review the working of CCI and make it future ready, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs constituted the Competition Law Review committee which submitted its report in July, 2019. The report provides a roadmap for the competition law. Among the proposed changes in the regulatory body, it seeks to introduce a governing body comprising a chairperson, six whole time and six part-time members. The board functions will be quasi-legislative and the CCI would be able to delegate functions and responsibilities to its members along with setting up of performance reviews.
In regards to the functioning, a new change has been suggested in pursuing settlements and commitments as mechanism for enforcement of the Act. A settlement is a package with monetary amount and measures which include suspension of business to settle allegations. A commitment is a measure which states steps that a party will take in the future and approval is seeked from the regulator to act as it has proposed.
To deal with combinations and mergers, material influence will be introduced to determine control in ascertaining control related to mergers and acquisitions. To cater to combinations that arise via the IBC and to fast-track combinations a green channel has been formulated. A green channel is a set of procedures for faster approval of combinations facilitated by consultations with CCI and self assessment based on recommended criteria to be objective as possible.
The report also reflects on the ensuring ways to address challenges like hub and spoke cartels and agreements of the new age which might not be horizontal or vertical agreements. Another attractive suggestion is the introduction of a new index, similar to the Ease of doing business, for states to be ranked on the basis of competitiveness of their laws and policies. It is hoped that the Act will prove to be an effective tool in realising the $5 trillion economy goal while protecting the interests of customers by ensuring a health competition in the economy.