Awareness Seminar on Competition Law and Policy

The past few years have been challenging for the economy and for businesses world over, making the task of policy makers even more daunting.  India, in the pursuit of globalization responded by opening up its economy by removing controls and resorting to liberalization. In the light of this, the obvious need of the hour was that the Indian market be geared to face competition from within the country and outside.  The financial crisis which gripped world strengthened the need and highlighted the importance of a strong and effective competition policy, a policy which would encourage markets to work well for the benefit of business and consumers, thereby increasing the country’s economic fitness: markets characterized by effective competition makes firms innovate more, keep prices down for consumers and improved total factor productivity drives economic growth. These factors are all the more relevant given the financial challenges faced by the country. It is clear that ultimately, the way out of this crisis – for the financial sector and the wider economy – lies with competitive markets, backed up by a robust competition policy.
Competition policy is defined as those government measures that affect the behavior of enterprises and structure of the industry with a view to promoting efficiency and maximizing   consumer/ social welfare. There are two components of a comprehensive competition policy. The first involves putting in place a set of policies that enhance competition or competitive outcomes in the markets, such as relaxed industrial policy, liberalized trade policy, convenient entry and exit conditions, reduced controls and greater reliance on market forces. The other component of competition policy is a law and its effective implementation to prohibit anti competitivebehavior by businesses, to prohibit abusive conduct by dominant enterprise, to regulate potentially anti competitive mergers and to minimize unwarranted government/regulatory controls.  In lieu of this IMS Law College organized a half day seminar on “Awareness about Competition law and Policy at AF-III, on April 3, 2014. The eminent speakers of this seminars are Ms. Surabhi Mehta (Advocate, Competition & IPR law practice of APJ-SLG Law offices, New Delhi), Mr. Saket Sharma(Advocate, Junior Fellow, University of Delhi) and Mr Sandeep(
Manager (Marketing &Outreach) at CIRC) . The seminar started with the  welcome  address and  message  on  the   importance of seminar on competition  Law and  Policy  by Dr.Niti Sinha (HOD Law) and introduction of Speaker given by Ms. Surabhi Guleria (Law Faculty).  Ms. Surabhi Mehta spoke   about the main objectives of Competition Act, 2002

  • Prevent practices having adverse effect on competition.
  • Promote and sustain competition in the markets.
  • Protect the interests of consumers.
  • Ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets, in India
 The Act regulates the following broad areas of competition law in India

Anti-competitive agreements: these could be both horizontal and vertical agreements
Abuse of dominant position: The Act prohibits abuse of such dominant position by an enterprise or a group. The Competition Commission of India (the Commission) is empowered into such matters.
Combinations: It needs to be noted that the provisions relating to regulation of “combinations” ( mergers, acquisitions & amalgamations) are still to be notified. The same are likely to be notified any time after the Commission finalizes the regulations for the same.

Competition advocacy: this is defined as the ability of the competition office to provide advice, influence and participate in government economic and regulatory policies in order to promote more competitive industry structure, firm behavior and market performance.(World Bank)

The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007

The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 was approved by the Parliament in September 2007 and received Presidential assent on 24th September 2007.  The amendment brought significant changes in the then existing regulatory infrastructure established under the Competition Act. A few of the major changes are set out below:
The Commission to be an expert body which will function as a market regulator for preventing anti competitive practices in the country and would also has advisory role and advocacy functions.
The Commission to function as collegiums and its decisions would be based on simple majority. Omits power of the Commission to award compensation to parties against proven anti competitive practices indulged in by enterprises.
Allows continuation of the MRTP Commission till two years after the constitution of the Commission for trying pending cases under the MRTP Act and to dissolve the same thereafter.

Notification of all “combinations” i.e. Mergers, Acquisitions and Amalgamations to the Commission made compulsory.
Establishment of a Competition Appellate Tribunal with a three member Quasi judicial body to be headed by a retired or serving judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of High Court to hear and dispose appeals against any direction issued or decision made or order passed by the Commission.
Mr. Saket Sharma give introduction of competition among the market but nothing comparison of product among the competitors in the terms of pricing, product, packaging and designing etc with a view to earn profits. While doing a competition companies should have a healthy environment among the competitors and abide the guidelines framed by the law and the courts. He gave an example of Google on which Rs 1crore fine put by the court for not complying the directions of the court. The seminar ended with vote of thanks given by Ms. Neelam Seam (Law Faculty). The seminar was coordinated by  Dr Niti Sinha (HOD , Law), Mr. Govind Prasad Goyal, Ms. Saurabhi Guleria and Ms. Neelam Seam (Law Faculty) along with the support of other law faculty members and PS.

Report Prepared by Sudhaklaran
Law Faculty


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