Vaish Associates Advocates updates

Supreme Court clears air on determination of relevant market in Section 3 cases
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
Vaish Associates Advocates
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • 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
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.

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