Vaish Associates Advocates updates

CCI issues fourth order under leniency provisions
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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.

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