Competition act


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Competition act

  1. 1. COMPETITION ACT, 2002
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION  Based on Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution of India.  Mandates inter alia, that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively, as it may, a social order in which justice social, economic and political shall inform all the institutions of the national life, and the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing: 1. That the ownership and control of material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common good; and 2. That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
  4. 4. MRTP Act obsolete in the light of the economic developments relating more particularly to competition laws  Need was felt to shift the focus from curbing monopolies to promoting competition.  Preamble of the Act is to provide, keeping in view of the economic development of the country, (i.) for the establishment of a Commission to prevent practices having adverse effect on competition, (ii.) to promote and sustain competition in markets, (iii.) to protect the interest of consumers and (iv.) to ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets, in India, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Introduction …..Contd.
  5. 5. Distinction between MRTP Act and Competition Act 1. Based on pre-reforms scenario. 2. Competition offences implicit or not defined 3. Complex in arrangement and language 4. Frowns upon dominance 5. Registration of agreements compulsory 6. No combinations regulation 7. Competition Commission appointed by the Government 1. Based on post-reform scenario. 2. Competition offences explicit and defined 3. Simple in arrangement and language and easily comprehensible 4. Frowns upon abuse of dominance 5. No requirement of registration of agreements 6. Combinations regulated beyond a high threshold limit. 7. Competition Commission selected by a Collegium (search committee)
  6. 6. 8. Very little administrative and financial autonomy for the Competition Commission 9. No competition advocacy role for the Competition Commission 10. No penalties for offences 11. Reactive and rigid 12. Unfair trade practices covered 8. Relatively more autonomy for the Competition Commission 9. Competition Commission has competition advocacy role 10. Penalties for offences 11. Proactive and flexible 12. Unfair trade practices omitted (consumer fora will deal with them) Distinction …..Contd.
  7. 7.  Competition Act comprises of 66 Sections.  Competition Act, 2002 has essentially four compartments: 1. Anti - Competition Agreements 2. Abuse of Dominance 3. Combinations Regulation 4. Competition Advocacy
  8. 8.  Section 2 defines various expressions used in the Act.  Important definitions: 1. Cartel: It includes an association of producers, sellers, distributors, traders or service providers who, by arrangement amongst themselves, limit, control or attempt to control the production, distribution, sale or price of, or trade in goods or provision of services. 2. Commission: Means the Competition Commission of India established under Section 7(1). DEFINITIONS
  9. 9. 3. Consumer: means any person who— (i) buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approval of such person, whether such purchase of goods is for resale or for any commercial purpose or for personal use; (ii) hires or avails of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first-mentioned person whether such hiring or availing of services is for any commercial purpose or for personal use; Definitions…..Contd.
  10. 10. 4. Enterprise: means a person or a department of the Government, who or which is, or has been, engaged in any activity, relating to the production, storage, supply, distribution, acquisition or control of articles or goods, or the provision of services, of any kind, or in investment, or in the business of acquiring, holding, underwriting or dealing with shares, debentures or other securities of any other body corporate, either directly or through one or more of its units or divisions or subsidiaries, whether such unit or division or subsidiary is located at the same place where the enterprise is located or at a different place or at different places, but does not include any activity of the Government relatable to the sovereign functions of the Government including all activities carried on by the departments of the Central Government dealing with atomic energy, currency,defence and space. Definitions…..Contd.
  11. 11. Explanation.-—For the purposes of this clause,— (a) "activity" includes profession or occupation; (b) "article" includes a new article and "service" includes a new service; (c) "unit" or "division", in relation to an enterprise, includes— (i) a plant or factory established for the production, storage, supply, distribution, acquisition or control of any article or goods; (ii) any branch or office established for the provision of any service. 5. Relevant Market: means the market which may be determined by the Commission with reference to the relevant product market or the relevant geographic market or with reference to both the markets; Definitions…..Contd.
  12. 12. 6. Relevant Geographic Market: means a market comprising the area in which the conditions of competition for supply of goods or provision of services or demand of goods or services are distinctly homogenous and can be distinguished from the conditions prevailing in the neighbouring areas. 7. Relevant Product Market: means a market comprising all those products or services which are regarded as interchangeable or substitutable by the consumer, by reason of characteristics of the products or services, their prices and intended use. Definitions…..Contd.
  13. 13. ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGREEMENTS  Section 3 provides for prohibition of entering into anti- competitive agreements. No enterprise or association of enterprises or person or association of persons shall enter into any agreement in respect of production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or provision of services, which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India . Any agreement entered into in contravention of this provision shall be void.
  14. 14.  Agreements entered into between enterprises or associations of enterprises or persons or associations of persons or between any person and enterprise or practice carried on, or decision taken by, any association of enterprises or association of persons, including cartels, engaged in identical or similar trade of goods or provision of services, which— (a) directly or indirectly determines purchase or sale prices; (b) limits or controls production, supply, markets, technical development, investment or provision of services; (c) shares the market or source of production or provision of services by way of allocation of geographical area of market, or type of goods or services, or number of customers in the market or any other similar way; (d) directly or indirectly results in bid rigging or collusive bidding, shall be presumed to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition. Anti-competitive Agreement…Contd.
  15. 15.  Some Agreements that are void under this Section are: 1. Tie – in Agreement – Includes an agreement requiring a purchaser of goods, as a condition of such purchase, to purchase some other goods. 2. Exclusive Supply Agreement: Includes any agreement restriciting in any manner the purchaser in the course of his trade from acquiring or otherwise dealing in any goods other than those of the seller or any other person. 3. Exclusive Distribution Agreement: Includes any agreement to limit, restrict or withhold the output or supply of any goods or allocate any area or market for the disposal or sale of the goods. Anti-competitive Agreement…Contd.
  16. 16. 4. Refusal to deal: Includes any agreement which restricts, or is likely to restrict, by any method the persons or class of persons to whom goods are sold or from whom goods are bought. 5. Resale Price Maintenance: Includes any agreement to sell goods on condition that the price to be charged on the resale by the purchaser shall be the prices stipulated by the seller unless it is clearly stated that prices lower than those prices may be charged.  The provision does not apply to agreements entered into by way of joint ventures if such agreement increases efficiency in production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or provision of services. Anti-competitive Agreement…Contd.
  17. 17.  The provision of Section 3 does not apply to: 1. the right of any person to restrain any infringement of, or to impose reasonable conditions, as may be necessary for protecting any of his rights which have been or may be conferred upon him under— (a) the Copyright Act, 1957. (b) the Patents Act, 1970. (c) the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 or the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (d) the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (e) the Designs Act, 2000. (f) the Semi-conductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000. 2. the right of any person to export goods from India to the extent to which the agreement relates exclusively to the production, supply, distribution or control of goods or provision of services for such export. Anti-competitive Agreement…Contd.
  18. 18. Anti-competitive agreements are classified into: • Vertical agreements that include Tie-in arrangements, Exclusive supply agreements, Exclusive distribution agreements and Resale price maintenance. • Horizontal agreements (in relevant markets) that include Prices, Quantities, Bids, Market sharing and Refusal to deal.
  19. 19. ABUSE OF DOMINANT POSITION Section 4 prohibits abuse of dominant position by any enterprise. Dominant Position has been appropriately defined in the Act in terms of the position of strength, enjoyed by an enterprise, in the relevant market, in India, which enables it to (i) operate independently of competitive forces prevailing in the relevant market; or (ii) affect its competitors or consumers or the relevant market, in its favour.
  20. 20. Dominant position is abused when an enterprise imposes unfair or discriminatory conditions in purchase or sale of goods or services or in the price in purchase or sale of goods or services. There is no control whatsoever to prevent enterprises from coming into or acquiring position of dominance. All that the Act prohibits is the abuse of that dominant position. The Act therefore targets the abuse of dominance and not dominance per se. Abuse of Dominant Position……Contd.
  21. 21. REGULATION OF COMBINATIONS  Sections 5 & 6 deal with combination of enterprises and persons.  Regulates the operation and activities of combinations, a term, which contemplates acquisitions, mergers or amalgamations.  Competition Act is not confined to transactions strictly within the boundaries of India but also such transactions involving entities existing and/or established overseas.  The Act has made the pre-notification of combinations voluntary for the parties concerned.  if the parties to the combination choose not to notify the CCI, as it is not mandatory to notify, they run the risk of a post- combination action by the CCI, if it is discovered subsequently, that the combination has an appreciable adverse effect on competition.  Rider to the provision - CCI shall not initiate an inquiry into a combination after the expiry of one year from the date on which the combination has taken effect.
  22. 22. Threshold: Applicable to As sets (In Rupees) Turnover (In Rupees) In India Individual parties 1000 cr. 3000 cr. Group 4000 cr. 12000 cr. Applicable to Assets Turnover Total Minimum Indian Component out of total Total Minimum Indian Component out of total In India and outside Individual parties $500 m Rs. 500 cr. $ 1500 m Rs. 1500cr Group $2,000 m Rs. 500 cr. $ 6000 m Rs. 1500cr
  23. 23. Horizontal/Vertical agreements relating to prices, discounts, output or the sharing of the markets often restrain the competitors and directly or indirectly limit access to market. Such agreements are prohibited by competition law as per se offences.
  24. 24. COMPETITION COMMISSION  Sections 7-40 deal with the Competition Commission, its composition, powers, duties, jurisdiction, inquiries, procedures for inquiries…etc.  Competition Commission of India (CCI) is the apex body vested with the responsibility of: a. eliminating practices having adverse effect on competition b. promoting and sustaining competition c. protecting the interest of the consumers and d. ensuring freedom of trade carried on by other participants in India  Successor to the MRTP Commission.
  25. 25.  CCI consists of a chairman, who is to be assisted by a minimum of two, and a maximum of ten other members to be appointed by the Central government.  Functions of CCI: a.Acts as a law enforcement agency b. actively involved in the formulation of the country's economic policies c. advise the government on competition policy d. take suitable measures for the promotion of competition advocacy Competition Commission…..Contd.
  26. 26. e. To create awareness and impart training about competition issues. f. The Commission assumes the role of competition advocate g. Section 49 deals exclusively with competition advocacy. h. In formulating a policy on competition (including review of laws related to competition), the Central Government may make a reference to the Commission for its opinion on possible effect of such policy Competition Commission…..Contd.
  27. 27. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 1. Power to grant interim relief (S.33) 2. Power to award compensation (S.34) 3. Power of Commission to regulate its own procedure(S.36) 4. Constitution of Fund (S.51) – (a.) All government grants received by the Commission, monies received as costs and fees received under the Act to constitute fund. (b.) Fund to be applied for meeting salaries and allowances to those employed to the Commission and other administrative expenses. (c.) Fund to be administered by those appointed by the Chairman.
  28. 28. 5. Penalties: a. Contravention of orders of Commission (S.42) – liable to be detained in civil prison for 1 year or penalty upto Rs.Ten Lakhs as the Commission directs. b. Penalty for failure to comply with directions of Commission and Director General (S 43) – Penalty of Rs.One lakh for each day of failure. c. Penalty for making false statement or omission to furnish material information (S.44) – penalty of not less than Rs. 50 lakh upto Rs. One crore. d. Power to impose lesser penalty (S.46) Misc. Provisions…..Contd.
  29. 29. CONCLUSION Vigorous Competition vital to innovation, strong and effective markets, consumer interest and productivity growth in the economy. Liberal trade policy along with sound competition policy by preventing anti-competitive business practices and unnecessary government intervention- essential to achieve maximum economic efficiency. A good competition policy , along with a sound competition law, helps in fostering competition, economic efficiency, consumer welfare and freedom of trade, which should equip the Govts in meeting the challenges of globalization by increasing competition in local and national markets.
  30. 30. A dealer compels and pressurizes the purchaser of a refrigerator to take post warranty service contract at the time of purchase of the fridge as a condition of such purchase. Does this amount to anti-competition agreement?
  31. 31. Do the following amount to anti-competitive agreements? Give reasons in support of your answer: (i) An agreement requiring a distributor not to sell the goods of the manufacturer in the States other than Gujarat and Maharashtra (ii) A stipulation in an agreement that the dealer shall not sell the goods below the stipulated price (iii) An agreement containing a clause that there will be discontinuation in the supply of goods if the dealer is also dealing in the product of supplier’s competitors (iv) An agreement stipulating the source of raw material for ensuring the quality of goods to be exported
  32. 32. v. Any agreement restricting in any manner the purchaser in the course of his trade from acquiring or otherwise dealing in any goods other than those of the seller. vi. Agreement not to bid beyond a particular price.