Competition Commission of India (CCI)
Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.
- The competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a provisional penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore ($162 million) on Google for “abusing its dominant position” in multiple categories related to the Android mobile device ecosystem in the country.
What is the Competition Commission of India?
- It is a statutory body established under the Competition Act, 2002, tasked with ensuring a fair and healthy competition in economic activities of the country.
- It is to act as an antitrust watchdog and ensure that there is no abuse of dominant position by a company in the market.
Need for CCI:
- Protection against market distortions.
- Promotion of free enterprise system.
- Ensure no abuse of dominance by big players in the market.
- Promotion of domestic industries.
- Establishment of a regulative control over economic activities.
Composition of CCI:
- It is a quasi-judicial body which as one chairperson and six other members.
- They will all be appointed by the Central Government.
- The Chairperson and members 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.
Functions of CCI:
- Eliminate practices that have an adverse impact on competition.
- Secure the interest of consumers and ensure that their welfare is not compromised.
- Undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.
- Ensure smooth alignment of sectoral regulatory laws and competition laws.
- Ensures that foreign companies abide by the country’s competition laws.
- It guarantees that no enterprise abuses their 'dominant position' through the control of supply, manipulating purchase prices, or adopting practices that deny market access to other competing firms.
- Please note: the appeals from CCI goes to National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) constituted under the Companies Act, 2013.
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 and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and Merger and acquisition), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
Anti-Competitive behaviour by firms and companies:
- Foreclosing competitors/ competition.
- Unfair or discriminatory pricing/ conditions.
- Limiting or restricting production of goods or provision of services.
- Limiting or restricting scientific or technical development to the prejudice of consumers.
- Mutual anti-competitive agreements.
- Predatory pricing.
- Denial of market access to others.
- Making conclusions of contracts subject to the acceptance by other parties of supplementary obligations that are unrelated to the original contract.
Evaluation of the Working of CCI:
- The CCI has been fairly successful in its functioning and has been a definite improvement from its predecessor under the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969.
- It has prevented the cartelization of cement companies, imposed penalties on the BCCI for the abuse of dominant position, ordered for an anti-trust probe against Google and has prevented cartelization in the telecom sector.
- It has undertaken several measures to increase public awareness about competition issues and has undertaken competition advocacy too.
- It has ensured that there is proactive engagement with all stakeholders, including consumers, industry, government and international jurisdictions.