Mr Man Mohan Sharma

Man Mohan Sharma

Updates

Competition & Antitrust

CCI fines JDMDA for imposing PIS charges on pharma companies
India | 28 November 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently imposed a Rs80,185 fine on the Jalgaon District Medicine Dealers Association for collecting product information service (PIS) charges from pharma product manufacturers, thereby restricting medicine supplies in the market. Although this order is one in a series imposed by the CCI on chemist and druggist associations, it is the first to impose fines solely for the collection of PIS charges.

High court settles constitutional challenges to Competition Act
India | 26 September 2019

In April 2019 the Delhi High Court disposed of 12 writ petitions filed by 10 car manufacturers and India's largest music label and movie studio. The writ petitions had challenged the main provisions of the Competition Act 2002 and were filed against a common order passed by the Competition Commission of India, which had found that 14 car manufacturers had been dominant in their respective markets and abused this dominance by preventing the establishment of an aftermarket in India.

Supreme Court permits material seized during dawn raid to be used as evidence
India | 19 September 2019

On 15 January 2019 the Supreme Court allowed the Competition Commission of India's (CCI's) appeal against a Delhi High Court order which had prohibited the CCI director general from acting on the evidence seized during a dawn raid of 19 September 2014. The dawn raid in question was the first to be conducted by the director general and formed part of the investigation into JCB India Limited's alleged abuse of its dominant position.

CCI finds no evidence of resale price maintenance in sale of Kaff appliances on Snapdeal
India | 12 September 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations of resale price maintenance against Kaff Appliances (India) Pvt Ltd under Section 26(6) of the Competition Act 2002. The CCI noted that it could not conclusively establish that the evidence (ie, an email, a caution notice and a legal notice) had been used as instruments to impose a resale price maintenance on the informant. Further, the presence of many competing dealers suggested a fair degree of intra-brand competition.

CCI penalises Godrej for role in bilateral ancillary cartel
India | 05 September 2019

In January 2019 the Competition Commission of India imposed a penalty of Rs85,01,364 on Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd for its role in a bilateral ancillary cartel, which violated Section 3(3) read with Section 3(1) of the Competition Act. Godrej's role in the cartel had been revealed via a leniency application filed by Panasonic Corporation, Japan on behalf of itself and its Indian subsidiary.

CCI cedes jurisdiction to decide abuse of dominance complaint against NSE
India | 29 August 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently decided not to investigate allegations that the National Stock Exchange had abused its dominant position due to a potential jurisdictional conflict with the Securities Exchange Board of India. This decision was a surprise turn from the CCI's earlier position and is likely to have been influenced by a Supreme Court judgment which warned the CCI against deciding technical issues relating to the terms of a licence granted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Court allows simultaneous proceedings against directors for alleged antitrust violation
India | 15 August 2019

In December 2018 the division bench of the Delhi High Court reconfirmed an earlier decision and held that simultaneous inquiries could be undertaken into Monsanto and its directors and officers for their alleged violation of the Competition Act 2002. The court also clarified that under Section 27 of the act, penalties could be imposed on the individuals in question based on their Monsanto-derived income.

Supreme Court ends jurisdictional conflict between CCI and TRAI
India | 08 August 2019

In December 2018 the Supreme Court finally ended the jurisdictional conflict between the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). By invoking the doctrine of harmonious construction, the court balanced the scales and gave the TRAI the power to first determine the rights and obligations of parties, after which – if the TRAI believes that anti-competitive activity has occurred – the CCI's jurisdiction can be invoked.

CCI disagrees with director general's finding that GAIL enforced one-sided clauses in long-term contracts
India | 01 August 2019

In November 2018 the Competition Commission of India disagreed with the director general's findings and dismissed allegations that GAIL (India) Ltd had imposed unfair and one-sided conditions in its gas supply agreements (GSAs) with seven other companies and thereby abused its dominant position as the sole supplier of regasified liquefied natural gas. The main allegations concerned the take-or-pay liability and letter of credit clauses in the GSAs, which were allegedly one-sided and biased.

CCI exonerates RDCA of anti-competitive conduct in pharmaceutical market
India | 25 July 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed allegations that the Retail and Dispensing Chemists Association limited and controlled the free supply of products by charging the manufacturers of pharmaceutical products for a product information service (PIS). In making its decision, the CCI relied on the order passed in Santuka Associates Pvt Ltd, which found that the decisive factor in determining whether the practice of issuing PIS charges is anti-competitive lies in the nature of the charges.

CCI holds that neither Flipkart nor Amazon is dominant in online marketplace
India | 18 July 2019

The Competition Commission of India has dismissed allegations that Flipkart India Private Limited and Flipkart Internet Private Limited abused their dominant position. Interestingly, although information was filed against the Flipkart entities, the commission held a preliminary conference with Amazon and concluded that no one player in the market could be said to have a dominant position at this stage of the market's evolution.

CCI rules that mere discussion of price increases does not constitute cartel
India | 11 July 2019

In November 2018 the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed the allegations of cartelisation in the determination of flashlight prices against Eveready Industries India Limited, Panasonic Energy India Co Ltd, Indo National Ltd, Geep Industries (India) Pvt Ltd and the Association of Indian Dry Cell Manufacturers. Notably, the CCI exonerated the opposing parties despite the existence of two leniency applications.

CCI further amends combination regulations – minority acquisitions left untouched
India | 04 July 2019

In 2018 the Competition Commission of India (CCI) issued a notification which further amended the CCI (Procedure in Regard to the Transaction of Business Relating to Combinations) Regulations 2011. Following strong opposition from industry groups, the CCI has dropped a controversial amendment. This article highlights the notification's most important changes.

Supreme Court delivers second landmark cartel judgment
India | 27 June 2019

In October 2018 the Supreme Court issued a landmark judgment in which it upheld the appeals of 44 liquefied petroleum gas cylinder manufacturers and dismissed the earlier finding of bid rigging. In its decision, the court emphasised the need to evaluate the market structure and conditions before determining whether a cartel exists. This judgment signifies a new direction in case law and is likely to change the manner in which India's antitrust regulator evaluates evidence of cartels in future.

CCI penalises MRI machine manufacturer, but chair disagrees with market definition
India | 20 June 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently imposed a penalty on Italian company Esaote SpA – a world leader in dedicated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – and its Indian subsidiary. According to the CCI's order, the Esaote group had abused its dominant position in the market through its sale of dedicated standing/tilting MRI machines to the informant. However, the CCI chair disagreed with the relevant market adopted by the majority of the commission.

CCI grants first-ever 100% penalty reduction
India | 02 May 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently awarded Panasonic Energy India Co Ltd the first-ever 100% penalty reduction in a leniency decision. In making its decision, the CCI observed that the investigation had been initiated based on information provided by Panasonic and that its cooperation had been essential for establishing a contravention of the Competition Act. Thus, the information provided by Panasonic was deemed to have added significant value to the investigation.

CCI issues third-ever leniency decision
India | 25 April 2019

In its third-ever leniency decision, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) granted a penalty reduction to four of the six leniency applicants. The allegations in the case concerned bid rigging in five tenders floated by the Pune Municipal Corporation in 2014 for the establishment of solid waste processing plants. The CCI found that all six of the opposing parties had participated in bid rigging or collusive bidding in contravention of the Competition Act.

Supreme Court clears air on determination of relevant market in Section 3 cases
India | 18 April 2019

The Supreme Court recently clarified that the determination of the relevant market is not a mandatory pre-condition for assessing an alleged violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act. In its application, the Competition Commission of India argued that the Supreme Court had previously given the impression that the relevant market must be determined in all cases concerning Section 3 of the act.

Supreme Court limits NCLAT's appellate jurisdiction
India | 11 April 2019

The Supreme Court recently set aside a National Company Law Tribunal order and restored the appeal which had been dismissed thereby. The appeal concerned a stay order which the Competition Commission of India had granted subject to the appellant paying a sum equal to 10% of the total penalty. In its landmark ruling, the court confirmed that the right to appeal envisioned by the Competition Act cannot be restricted by the requirement that a pre-deposit be paid.

CCI closes investigation into Kerala Cement Dealers' Association and Ramco
India | 04 April 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently closed its investigation into the Kerala Cement Dealers' Association (KCDA) and Ramco Cements Ltd. The director general had initiated an investigation based on allegations that Ramco had been prevented from supplying cement after refusing to follow the KCDA's instructions to do so at an unfair price. However, the CCI held that the evidence collected by the director general was insufficient to prove a contravention of the Competition Act.

Delhi High Court upholds right to counsel during director general's investigation
India | 28 March 2019

The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court has upheld the right of a person summoned by the director general to be accompanied and represented by counsel. However, the Competition Commission of India has raised concerns that permitting the active participation of counsel during depositions may not be conducive to the public interest at large.

CCI launches investigation against ONGC for abuse of dominant position
India | 21 March 2019

The Competition Commission of India has launched an investigation under the Competition Act against Oil and Natural Gas Limited (ONGC) for abuse of its dominant position in the relevant market. The investigation stemmed from allegations made by the informant that ONGC had imposed one-sided and onerous terms in its charter hire agreements with suppliers of offshore support vehicles.

CCI approves Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto subject to structural modifications
India | 14 March 2019

The Competition Commission of India has approved Bayer Aktiengesellschaft's proposed acquisition of Monsanto Company, subject to certain remedies. For example, the combined entity must give the government access to Indian agro-climatic data free of charge and cannot directly or indirectly impose commercial dealings capable of causing exclusivity in the sales channel for the supply of agricultural products.

CCI imposes penalty on SALPG for denying market access
India | 21 February 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has penalised South Asia LPG Company Ltd for abusing its dominant position on the market for upstream terminaling services at the Visakhapatnam port. The CCI held that SALPG had denied market access at the port to a private terminal operator. This landmark case is a good example of a dominant enterprise denying an essential facility to a competitor without any objective justification.

CCI issues fourth order under leniency provisions
India | 31 January 2019

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs223.6 million on Essel Shyam Communication Limited (ESCL) for bid rigging in tenders floated by sports broadcasters, including those for the 2012 Indian Premier League. The CCI ultimately reduced the fine imposed on ESCL and its officials under the leniency provisions contained in the Competition Act. This is the fourth order that the CCI has issued under these provisions.

CCI dismisses findings of cartelisation against 37 signalling cable suppliers
India | 24 January 2019

By way of a 2018 order, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) rejected the director general's findings and closed the case against 37 signalling cable suppliers concerning allegations of bid rigging in eight tenders. The CCI's decision is significant, as although the bidders were found to have presented similar or identical bids, careful scrutiny showed that there was no evidence of any anti-competitive agreement or arrangement among the five subsets, nor any evidence to suggest tacit collusion.

NCLAT upholds highest ever penalty imposed by CCI in cartel case
India | 20 December 2018

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) recently upheld the Competition Commission of India's decision to impose a Rs63 billion penalty on 11 cement companies for cartelisation. The NCLAT observed that the companies had used their trade association to discuss pricing and sensitive information relating to production, capacity and dispatch. Further, there had been a simultaneous reduction in the cement companies' dispatches and several instances where they had hiked their prices.

CCI approves Walmart's acquisition of majority stake in Flipkart
India | 06 December 2018

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently approved Walmart International Holding's acquisition of 51% to 77% of the outstanding shares in Flipkart Private Limited. The CCI noted that both parties were engaged in business-to-business sales and that, as such, there was a horizontal overlap between them in the relevant market. Further, the CCI observed that Flipkart and Walmart's combined market share would remain less than 5%.

CCI finds Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce guilty of anti-competitive conduct for fifth time
India | 29 November 2018

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has penalised the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), the Kannada Okkuta and various individuals – including the presidents of both organisations – for engaging in anti-competitive conduct by posting incendiary posts on Twitter and threatening to commit acts of violence. Although this is the fifth time that the KFCC has been found guilty of anti-competitive conduct, it is only the second time that it has been penalised by the CCI.

CCI penalises Geep Industries for its part in bilateral ancillary cartel
India | 22 November 2018

The Competition Commission of India has imposed a penalty of Rs96.4 million on Geep Industries (India) Private Limited, holding that although the company was merely a recipient of information on pricing within a larger, primary cartel, it could not escape liability for anti-competitive behaviour. This is the first case in which a party which was not part of an original primary cartel has been held liable on the grounds that it was part of a bilateral ancillary cartel with one of the primary cartel members.

CCI ignores market realities and penalises sugar mills for cartel
India | 15 November 2018

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.

Delhi High Court clarifies procedural and jurisdictional issues in CCI antitrust inquiry
India | 18 October 2018

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.

CCI introduces concept of 'relevant period' in market definition
India | 11 October 2018

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.

CCI penalises GDA for abusing its dominant position in Ghaziabad
India | 06 September 2018

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.

Delhi High Court refuses to interfere with prima facie order passed by CCI
India | 30 August 2018

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.

CCI approves initial transactions notified under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
India | 23 August 2018

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.

Supreme Court upholds CCI's interpretation of Section 4(2)(c) of Competition Act
India | 16 August 2018

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.

CCI imposes penalty on airlines for fixing fuel surcharge rates
India | 09 August 2018

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.

Investigation into Honda for imposition of vertical restraints and abuse of dominance
India | 02 August 2018

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.

Government dilutes competitive neutrality: oil and gas companies exempt from CCI merger control
India | 07 June 2018

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.

CCI finds prima facie case of abuse of dominance by Haryana Urban Development Authority
India | 31 May 2018

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.

CCI re-imposes penalty of Rs522.4 million on BCCI for abuse of dominance
India | 24 May 2018

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.

CCI to investigate Star India for alleged abuse of dominance and price discrimination
India | 17 May 2018

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.

CCI issues cease and desist order to Indian film associations following anti-competitive conduct
India | 10 May 2018

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.

CCI exonerates nine suppliers following allegations of bid rigging in railway tenders
India | 03 May 2018

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.

CCI dismisses allegations of anti-competitive conduct against Kerala film associations
India | 26 April 2018

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.

CCI denies chemical companies' single-entity defence against collusive bidding
India | 12 April 2018

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.

CCI dismisses allegations of anti-competitive conduct against industrial development companies
India | 05 April 2018

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.

CCI issues advisory to pharmaceutical companies while penalising All Kerala Chemists & Druggists Association
India | 29 March 2018

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.

CCI imposes highest recorded penalty based on profits of hardcore coal-liaisoning cartel
India | 22 March 2018

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.

CCI imposes Rs1.4 billion penalty on Google for abuse of dominant position
India | 15 March 2018

The Competition Commission of India recently imposed a penalty of approximately Rs1.4 billion (approximately $21 million) on Google for abusing its dominant position in the market for "online general web search and web search advertising services" in India. While the $21 million fine imposed may be small for the global technology giant, the ruling has raised hopes for Indian digital start-ups that are feeling the pressure of Google's dominance.

CCI imposes penalty for bid rigging in coal transportation auctions
India | 08 February 2018

The Competition Commission of India recently imposed a penalty of almost Rs120 million on 10 transport companies for bid rigging in regard to coal and sand transportation tenders. It held that identical pricing despite different cost structures, last-minute filing of price bids and the existence of earlier financial dealings between the defendants constituted evidence of a clear understanding to fix prices, which should be treated ipso facto as having an adverse effect on competition.

CCI dismisses claims of abuse of dominant position against state transport company
India | 01 February 2018

The Competition Commission of India has dismissed claims against Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation for abuse of its dominant position in the market for the procurement of bus chassis in India on the grounds that it holds no dominant position. The court did not assess the claims of abuse after finding that the company has low shares in the market, which comprises numerous competing transport operators.

Nationalised banks exempt from CCI merger approval
India | 25 January 2018

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently held that nationalised banks are exempt from the applicability of the merger control regime under the Competition Act. The ministry issued a notification which stipulates that the government – in the interest of the public – will exempt all cases of reconstitution, transfer (wholly or in part) and amalgamation of nationalised banks from the application of Sections 5 and 6 of the act for 10 years.

CCI dismisses allegations of RBI cartel
India | 18 January 2018

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently dismissed allegations of cartelisation against the Reserve Bank of India and 19 other banks. The claimant alleged that the banks, acting pursuant to a horizontal anti-competitive agreement, had assumed no liability for the loss of items kept by customers in their safety deposit locker facilities. However, the CCI found no evidence of cartelisation or any understanding, consensus or arrangement among the banks.

Regional rural bank mergers exempt from control provisions
India | 11 January 2018

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.

CCI imposes no penalty for anti-competitive conduct
India | 04 January 2018

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.

CCI closes case against taxi company for alleged abuse of dominance
India | 21 December 2017

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.

CCI dismisses allegation of abuse of dominance against Sanofi
India | 14 December 2017

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.

CCI dismisses claims of anti-competitive conduct against Kahaani-2 producers
India | 30 November 2017

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.

CCI penalises Hyundai for resale price maintenance and tie in
India | 23 November 2017

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.

CCI approves merger of Bharti Airtel and Telenor
India | 16 November 2017

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.

CCI initiates investigation into Ghaziabad Development Authority
India | 09 November 2017

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.

CCI initiates investigation into Delhi Development Authority
India | 02 November 2017

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.

CCI imposes Rs2.5 million penalty for delayed notice of acquisition
India | 26 October 2017

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.

CCI approves first leniency application for cartel member
India | 19 October 2017

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.

CCI imposes penalty on seven cement manufacturers for bid rigging
India | 12 October 2017

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.

CCI penalises Malayalam movie artists' associations for boycotting competitor
India | 05 October 2017

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.

CCI initiates investigation against Haryana Public Works Department
India | 28 September 2017

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.

CCI imposes penalty for gun jumping
India | 21 September 2017

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.

CCI closes case against Maharashtra electricity distribution company for alleged abuse of dominance
India | 07 September 2017

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.

CCI issues guidance note on non-compete obligations
India | 31 August 2017

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.

Breathing room for parties: 30-day filing deadline ceases to exist
India | 17 August 2017

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.

CCI approves acquisition of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Limited
India | 03 August 2017

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.

CCI finds Coal India Limited abused dominant position and imposes reduced fine
India | 27 July 2017

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.

COMPAT dismisses Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce appeal against cartelisation
India | 20 July 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal has upheld a Competition Commission of India order, which found that the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) had violated the Competition Act by restricting the market of Kannada-dubbed films and television. It found that the KFCC's conduct was a joint action of and among its members, thereby constituting an agreement by which the KFCC could be subject to appraisal under Section 3 of the act.

Supreme Court upholds appeal against committee of West Bengal television producers
India | 13 July 2017

The Supreme Court recently set aside a Competition Appellate Tribunal order and held that the prohibition on a dubbed television series violated the Competition Act. The court found that a coordination committee of West Bengal television producers, which had joined together in calling for the boycott of a Bengali-dubbed television series, had gone against the interests of competition and deprived consumers of choice.

Supreme Court upholds relevant turnover concept for penalties under Competition Act
India | 06 July 2017

The Supreme Court recently upheld a Competition Appellate Tribunal decision, holding that the penalty for anti-competitive practices found to be in violation of the Competition Act 2002 should be based on relevant turnover relating to a particular product and not on total turnover, particularly for multi-product companies. This landmark judgment removes the doubt surrounding the imposition of penalties in cases involving violations of the act, such as those involving cartels.

CCI dismisses allegation of abuse of dominance against WhatsApp
India | 29 June 2017

The Competition Commission of India recently closed the case for alleged abuse of dominance against popular messaging service WhatsApp, finding no prima facie case to investigate the company's alleged conduct despite affirming its dominant position in the relevant market.

Central government relaxes filing norms for mergers and extends scope of de minimis exemption
India | 13 April 2017

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently modified the method for calculating assets and turnover for the purposes of providing notice of an acquisition or acquiring control, merging or amalgamating a portion of an enterprise, division or business for the purpose of Section 5 of the Competition Act 2002, without changing the thresholds for assets or turnover. The notification will apply for five years.

COMPAT directs CCI to investigate alleged abuse of dominance against DLF
India | 16 March 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently set aside a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order and directed that an investigation be conducted into allegations that DLF Universal Ltd had abused its dominant position. COMPAT held that the CCI had erred in defining the relevant market and thus remitted the case to the CCI.

COMPAT upholds CCI order against Coal India Limited for abuse of dominance
India | 09 March 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal recently upheld a Competition Commission of India order against Coal India Limited and Western Coalfields Limited for acting independently of market forces and being in a dominant position on the market for the production and supply of non-coking coal to thermal producers, in violation of the Competition Act.

COMPAT directs investigation against Uber India for abuse of dominance
India | 02 March 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently set aside a February 10 2016 Competition Commission of India order which had closed the case filed against Uber India Systems Private Limited for alleged abuse of its dominant position. COMPAT has directed the director general to investigate the allegations that Uber India established a monopoly and eliminated otherwise equally efficient competitors through predatory pricing and by imposing unfair conditions by virtue of its dominance.

COMPAT sets aside penalty imposed on Lupin and its office bearers
India | 23 February 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently set aside a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order, quashing the Rs73 million fine imposed on Lupin Ltd and its two officials for allegedly entering into an anti-competitive agreement with the Karnataka Chemists and Druggists Association. In setting aside the CCI's order, COMPAT noted that the director general and the CCI had committed a jurisdictional error by finding that Lupin had violated the Competition Act.

COMPAT upholds CCI order against four public sector insurers, but reduces penalty
India | 09 February 2017

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently upheld a Competition Commission of India order which found four public sector insurers guilty of bid rigging under Section 27 of the Competition Act, but reduced the penalty from Rs6.7 billion to Rs20 million. COMPAT recognised that the penalty's burden would ultimately be transferred to the public, as the insurers were owed by the government. As such, it reduced the penalty to 1% of the relevant turnover for the relevant period.

COMPAT rejects appeals from Ford, Nissan and Toyota, but reduces penalty amounts
India | 02 February 2017

In a groundbreaking order, the Competition Appellate Tribunal recently upheld the Competition Commission of India order which found that Ford India Pvt Ltd, Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd and Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd had indulged in anti-competitive practices by not opening the spare parts and repair and maintenance markets to independent repairers. This decision, if implemented, will bring transparency and competition into the spare parts and after-sales and repair markets in India.

COMPAT upholds penalty imposed on SCM Soilfert for gun jumping
India | 22 December 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently upheld the penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on SCM Soilfert for failing to notify its combination under the Competition Act. Despite SCM's contention that the acquisition was "solely for investment" purposes and hence did not require notification, the CCI and COMPAT ultimately noted that the companies' actions proved that the acquisition was made neither solely as an investment nor in the ordinary course of business.

CCI dismisses predatory pricing allegation and approves acquisition
India | 22 December 2016

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance by Ola Cabs and Taxi For Sure for predatory pricing. Further, the CCI approved the proposed combination of 100% of the shares in L&T General Insurance Company Limited by HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited from Larsen and Toubro. Once acquired, HDFC Ergo will be merged with its 100% subsidiary LTGI.

COMPAT upholds CCI order dismissing abuse of dominance allegation against OMC
India | 08 December 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently upheld a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order which dismissed allegations against Orissa Mining Corporation for abuse of its dominant position by fixing an arbitrary and highly unreasonable price for the sale of chrome ore. COMPAT agreed with the opinion of the director general and the CCI that the allegation of abuse of dominance had not been substantiated and the price charged by it was not unfair. The appeal was dismissed accordingly.

CCI re-imposes penalty on 11 cement companies for cartelisation
India | 01 December 2016

Earlier in 2016, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) re-imposed penalties on 11 cement manufacturers and the Cement Manufacturers Association for violations of Sections 3(3)(a) and 3(3)(b) of the Competition Act. The CCI reheard the parties at length, ultimately concluding that the cement manufacturers had acted in concert in order to fix cement prices and limit and control the production and supply of cement.

COMPAT upholds CCI order putting onus to produce data on informants
India | 24 November 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal recently upheld a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order declining to order an investigation into allegations of abuse of dominance, holding that the onus to establish dominance is on the appellant. Where an appellant fails to produce material demonstrating that the respondent has the largest share in the relevant market, it cannot seek a declaration that the CCI committed an error by refusing to consider the issue of dominance and abuse thereof.

COMPAT upholds CCI order dismissing abuse of dominance allegation against Vodafone
India | 10 November 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently upheld a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order declining to investigate allegations of abuse of dominance by Vodafone India for levying exorbitant charges for its international roaming plans. According to COMPAT, as the appellant failed to provide evidence that Vodafone India had the largest share in the relevant market, there was no reason to order an investigation and thus the CCI had rightly declined his request.

COMPAT refuses to hear appeal against CCI order rejecting confidentiality claims
India | 03 November 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal recently upheld an order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) which refused to entertain an appeal challenging the director general's order to treat certain documents submitted by the appellant as confidential until the completion of the CCI proceedings (rather than permanently) under Regulation 35(8) of the CCI General Regulations 2009.

CCI approves Nestlé joint venture and JSW Energy acquisition
India | 27 October 2016

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently approved a joint venture between Nestlé and PAI Partners SAS. The joint venture will be principally active in the production, distribution and sale of ice cream products in certain geographical areas and, to a limited extent, the production and sale of other frozen food products in certain European Economic Area countries. The CCI also approved JSW Energy's acquisition of a 1,000-megawatt power plant from Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.

COMPAT sets aside penalty imposed on ITPO for abuse of dominance
India | 20 October 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal recently set aside the penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India on the India Trade Promotion Organisation for allegedly adopting a discriminatory policy in relation to the gaps between exhibitions and fairs at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and maintaining discriminatory practises against the allotment of spaces to private organisers.

CCI investigates alleged abuses of Competition Act
India | 13 October 2016

The Competition Commission of India recently investigated two cases relating to alleged abuses of the Competition Act. In the first case, the informants alleged that seed producers were abusing their dominant position by, among other things, imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions and denying market access. In the second case, the informant alleged that the parties were inflating the price of guar seeds and gum by artificially increasing demand.

COMPAT sets aside CCI order for alleged cartelisation on procedural grounds
India | 06 October 2016

The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) recently set aside an order from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), under which the Indian Jute Mils Association and the Gunny Trade Association were penalised for alleged cartelisation in the pricing of jute bags. COMPAT held that the CCI's finding that the Competition Act had been violated was unsubstantiated and disproportionate and violated the principles of natural justice.

CCI fines Lupin Ltd for anti-competitive behaviour
India | 22 September 2016

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently found the Karnataka Chemists and Druggist Association, Lupin Ltd and their office bearers and officials to be in contravention of the Competition Act 2002. This case highlights the obstinacy of chemists and druggist associations that, despite various orders by the CCI in similar cases, have continued to indulge in anti-competitive practices.

CCI dismisses case alleging predatory pricing against Uber India
India | 09 June 2016

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently prima facie closed the case for alleged abuse of dominance under the Competition Act against taxi service provider Uber. The CCI confirmed that there was stiff competition between Uber and other taxi service providers in the relevant market and thus, as Uber was not dominant in the market, the question of abuse did not arise.

CCI closes case against public sector insurers for alleged cartelisation
India | 02 June 2016

The Competition Commission of India recently closed a case alleging that four public sector general insurers and their association had established anti-competitive agreements. It was alleged that the General Insurance Public Sector Association, an informal association of the four insurers, had been established and used to further the insurers' anti-competitive conduct.