How Google, Uber, Ola, others made Modi govt scramble for solution
The government has set up a panel to review the competition law in the country as it looks to better equip the fair-trade regulator to deal with competition issues in the digital economy.
The government has set up a panel to review the competition law in the country as it looks to better equip the fair-trade regulator to deal with competition issues in the digital economy. The nine-member Competition Law Review Committee headed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas has been tasked with “reviewing the Competition Act in view of the changing business environment and bring necessary changes, if required,” the government said in a statement on Sunday.
The members on the committee include- Competition Commission of India (CCI) chairman Sudhir Mittal, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) chairman M S Sahoo, Haigreve Khiatan from Khaitan & Co, Harsha Vardhana Singh of IKDHVAJ Advisors, retired bureaucrat S Chakravarthy, professor of economics Aditya Bhattacharjea and lawyers Pallavi Shardul Shroff and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. The committee will submit its report in three months. According to Sakate Khaitan, senior partner at Khaitan Legal Associates, “In the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) regime, the possibility of concentration leading to competition and anti-trust issues can be high and such a review is good.”
The panel will look into international best practices in the competition fields, especially anti-trust laws, merger guidelines and cross-border issues. The committee will study regulatory regime, institutional mechanisms and government policies which overlap with the current Competition Act.
The Competition Act, which was passed in 2002, came into force from 2009.
“It is time to revamp the competition law to better equip CCI to deal with competition issues in the digital economy. A number of cases in this sector have come up before CCI in recent times, involving firms such as Google, Uber and Ola. The network effects and pace of developments in this space require a fresh look at the law. There are also questions of overlap with sectoral regulators and need for better cooperation,” said Smriti Parsheera, consultant with National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). In the last nine years, the fair-trade regulator has reviewed over 950 anti-trust cases and about 570 merger filings.
The committee is likely to look at amendments in the law to set up engagement protocols between Competition Commission of India and other sectoral regulators.
-“During the past nine years, the size of our economy has grown immensely and India is among the top five economies in the world. In this context, it is essential that competition law is strengthened and re-calibrated to promote best practices which result in the citizens of this country achieving their aspirations and value for money,” the government said in a press release.
“The timing for a review of the Competition Act is right. The Act has been around for almost a decade. While the CCI does an annual review of merger regulations, it is time to also review and address issues under enforcement such as relevant turnover in the Act. It’s also time for CCI to have more offices for ease of doing business. Securities and Exchange Board of India has 19 offices and the CCI has just one,” said Nisha Kaur Uberoi, national competition head, Trilegal.
Apart from expanding the regional outreach of CCI, the committee is also likely to look at simplifying procedures of competition regulation and strengthen the internal capacity of the commission.
Source: DNA Money