Competition Commission of India
- Posted By
Polity & Governance
1st Dec, 2020
- The central government is set to introduce the Competition Amendment Bill beforeParliament during the Winter session.
What are the Keychanges in the Bill?
- It includes vesting the power of the appointment of the head of theinvestigative arm of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) with the regulatoritself.
- It also says about a new “settlement” and “commitment” mechanisms to allow forquicker disposal of cases.
- The head of the investigative arm of the CCI, the Director-General (DG), is currently appointed by the Centre.
- The mechanismwould allow a firm which may have engaged in anti-competitive conduct to reachan agreement with the CCI to dispose of a case after the DG submits a reportindicating competition law violations.
- The company would be required to ceaseanti-competitive conduct and may be required to pay a fine decided by the CCI.
What are the criticisms?
- Industry bodies and experts had opposed the proposal togive this authority to the competition watchdog, noting that such a move maycompromise the independence of the DG.
- It says that the investigations by the DG are influenced by the prima facie view taken by the CCI.
- Under the commitment mechanism, parties accused of anti-competitive conductmay seek to settle a case before the DG of the CCI begins investigation bycommitting to cease anti-competitive conduct and paying a fine decided by the CCI.
The Competition Act
- The Competition Commission of India, which has been established by the Central Government with effect from 14th October 2003.
- 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 M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
- CCI consists of a Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.
- It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
- The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.