Competition law is specific law which has the object of promoting and maintaining competition in the market by regulating and anti-competitive conduct. India’s first competition laws are called monopolis and Restrictive Practices Act 1969. However, as this legislation became outdated and is now replaced by the Competition Act in 2002. This competition act 2002 by subsequently (Amended) by Act 2007. This Act was notified on 20th May 2009.
The Competition Act has been designed to regulate Competition and monopolis. It aims at the promotion and sustenance of Competition in the market, protect of the consumer interests and ensuring freedom of trade in the Indian Market.
Some of the salient features of this act are:
1. Anti - compete agreement: no enterprise or association or persons including cartels engaged and in identical or similar trade of goods or provisions of services shall enter into any agreement in respect of production, allocation, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or services which shall have appreciable adverse effect on Competition in India.
2. Restriction on abuse of dominant position: an entity having dominant position/prohibition is restricted from abusing its dominants. The act identifies abuse of dominant position in cases where there is a) unfair or discriminatory trade practices b) limiting production or technical or scientific development
c) denial of access to market d)imposition of supplementary obligations e) protection of other markets
3. Regulation of Combination: The act regulate the operation and activity of Combinations (the term which includes acquisition and merger, joint ventures, take overs or amalgamations) the act makes it mandatory that no person or enterprise shall enter into combination which causes or likely to cause and appreciable adverse effect on Competition within relevant market in India. Any such combination shall be deemed to be void.
4. The Competition Commission of India: the act has created Competition Commission of India apex body which has been vested which the responsibility of eliminating practices that have and adverse effect on competition, then promoting and sustaining competition, protecting the interests of the consumer and ensuring freedom trade carried on by other participants in India.
The Competition Commission has extra territorial jurisdiction out side India if the effect of the Competition is in India. Where the acts like an agreement or arrangement, acquisition, merger or amalgamation or combination take place outside India but they have or are likely to have adverse effect on competition in India, the Commission shall have the same powers of inquiry as if they were taking place in India and pass orders as it may deem fit under the Act (in accordance with provisions of Sections 19, 20, 26, 29 and 30).