Competition Law in India
Competition law is a specific law which has the objective of promoting/ maintaining competition in the markets by regulating anti-competitive conduct. It is also known as antitrust law in the United States. The history of competition law reaches back to the Roman Empire. Since the 20th century, competition law has become global. Now, more than hundred countries have adopted competition law as a natural corollary to embracing economic reforms and market economies.
India’s earlier Competition related law - Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Act, 1969 became outdated after liberalization of economy in 1991. Competition Act, 2002 was passed in January 2003 with the objective of preventing practices having adverse effect on competition, promoting and sustaining competition in markets, protecting the interests of consumers and ensuring freedom of trade carried on market participant. Competition Commission of India (CCI) was set up in October 2003 to implement the law. However, legal challenge prevented full constitution and enforcement and only advocacy function was notified. Law was amended in 2007. Law is being implemented by Competition Commission of India (CCI), which was constituted in 2009 as an autonomous independent body comprising Chairperson and six members. Appeal lies to Competition Appellate Tribunal also set up in 2009 with final appeal to Supreme Court of India. Section 3 & 4 relating to anti- competitive agreements and abuse of dominance notified w.e.f 20.5.52009 while Sections 5 & 6 relating to Mergers and Acquisitions notified w.e.f 1.6.2011. Thus, Indian Competition Law has fully come into force. The Competition Act, 2002 (as amended), [the Act] aims at protecting Indian markets against anti-competitive practices by enterprises. The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises, and regulates entering into combinations (consisting of mergers, amalgamations and acquisitions) with a view to ensure that there is no adverse effect on competition in India.
- The Competition Act, 2002: An Overview
- The Competition Act, 2002 (full Act)