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Competition Commission of India

Introduction


“To promote and sustain an enabling competition culture through engagement and enforcement that would inspire businesses to be fair, competitive and innovative; enhance consumer welfare; and support economic growth.”


The Competition Act, 2002 was passed by the Parliament in the year 2002. In accordance with the provisions of the Amendment Act, the Competition Commission of India was set up in 2009.


On the recommendation of the Raghavan committee, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act of 1969 (MRTP Act) was abolished and replaced with the Competition Act of 2002.


It is the statutory 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 carried on by other participants, in markets in India as provided in the Preamble as well as Section 18 of the Act.The Commission is also mandated to give its opinion on competition issues to government or statutory authority and to undertake competition advocacy for creating awareness of competition law.


Composition and Eligibility


The Competition Commission of India has been established to enforce the competition law under the Act. The Commission consists of a Chairperson and not more than 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.


The Chairperson and every other Member shall be a person of ability, integrity, and standing who, has been or is qualified to be a High Court judge, or, has special knowledge and professional experience of not less than fifteen years in international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs, administration, or in any other matter which, in the opinion of the Central Government, may be useful to the Commission.


NCLAT


In accordance with the provisions of the Amendment Act, the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Appellate Tribunal have been established.


The government replaced the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in 2017.


The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) constituted under section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013 shall be the Appellate Tribunal for the purpose of this Competition Act 2002. The appellate Tribunal shall – (a) to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction issued or decision made or order passed by the Commission under sub-sections (2) and (6) of section 26, section 27, section 28, section 31, section 32, section 33, section 38, section 39, section 43, section 43A, section 44, section 45 or section 46 of the Act; (b) to adjudicate on claim for compensation that may arise from the findings of the Commission or the orders of the Appellate Tribunal in an appeal against any finding of the Commission or under section 42A or under sub- section(2) of section 53Q of this Act, and pass orders for the recovery of compensation under section 53N of this Act.


Role

  • To remove practises that have negative impact on competition, protect consumer interests, and ensure the freedom of commerce in India's marketplaces.

  • To provide an opinion on competition problems in response to a request from a government agency.

  • To advocate for competition, raise public awareness, and provide training on competition issues.

  • To make markets function for the benefit and welfare of customers.

  • Ensure fair and healthy competition in the country's economic activities for a more rapid and inclusive economic advancement and growth.

  • Implement competition policies with the aim of optimizing the use of economic resources.

  • Effectively advocate for competition and disseminate knowledge about the advantages of competition to all stakeholders in order to build and cultivate a culture of competition in the Indian economy.


Conclusion


Today’s market economy is all about having a competitive edge, it boosts growth as it pushes the stakeholders to be the best in this environment of survival of the fittest. It ensures that quality goods and services are being produced in the economy. Consumer sovereignty is enhanced. It also ensures that everyone has equal and fair access to opportunities, that no one has an unfair advantage, and that there are no unfair monopolies or cartelised domain in which producers take advantage of customers.


With the advent of Web 3.0, AI, IoT, Blockchain, and other technological advancements, as well as the emergence of issues such as data protection and privacy, platform neutrality, deep discounting, killer acquisitions, etc., India needs a robust competition law, attuned to the needs of the modern techno-legal world, that provides a level playing field for digital market players. CCI must comprehend the technical complexities of the new digital world and determine if these markets are being used fairly, efficiently, and openly for the benefit of consumers.


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