COMPETITION LAW OR ANTI- TRUST LAWS IN INDIA
Competition laws are enforced in many countries to control competition in the market or unfair trade practices. In India, prior to the enforcement of the Competition Act in 2002, there was the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. However, this Act was replaced by the Competition Act, 2002 as the former had become obsolete as in certain aspects it was not in parity with the competition laws prevailing internationally.
Competition Act, 2002
It has been enacted to ensure the economic development of the country by preventing unfair trade practices and promoting sustainable competition in the market, while protecting the interests of consumers.
Some of the essential features of the Act are discussed herein briefly:
Anti- Competitive Agreements
As per Section 3(1) of the Act no enterprise or association is allowed to enter into any agreement which can cause or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect within India. Further, Section 3(2) of the Act clearly provides that such an agreement shall be void. These agreements are subject to the adverse presumption of being anti-competitive.
Read more about Anti- Competitive agreements here.
Abuse of Dominance
Section 4(1) of the Act prohibits any enterprise or group from abusive its dominant position.
Read more about Abuse of Dominant position here.
According to Section 5 of the Act, combination is the acquisition of one or more enterprises by one or more persons or merger or amalgamation of enterprises. The mergers or combination is controlled by the Government to promote competition in a way that small industries are not overpowered by well-known industries. Companies which are merging has to ensure the threshold limits in terms of assets or turnover as specified in the Act. The various types of Combinations are horizontal combination, vertical combination and conglomerate combinations.
Read more about Combinations here.
Competition Advocacy is one of the main objectives of Competition Law which deals with creating a competitive environment in the market by spreading awareness among the people about the benefits of a competitive market. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is obliged to take charge of advocacy for Competition Law are the consumers whose welfare forms the key objective of the law.
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