The Competition Amendment Bill, 2023, was recently approved by the Rajya Sabha.
The Competition (Amendment) Bill, of 2023, aims to make changes to the Competition Act, of 2002, which governs competition in the Indian market and outlaws anti-competitive actions like cartels, mergers, and purchases that might harm competition.
The Act says that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) must carry it out and make sure it is followed.
- Penalties: For the purpose of figuring out penalties, the proposed law would define “turnover” as the total amount of money a person or business makes from all the goods and services they offer.
Instead of using a percentage of the business’s local or relevant market turnover as a penalty, as is done now, the idea is to use a percentage of the business’s global turnover as a penalty.
- Decriminalization: Some violations of the Act are no longer crimes because of this measure. Instead of fines, they will be punished with civil penalties.
Some of these crimes involve abusing a dominant position and not following CCI and Director General orders about agreements that hurt competition.
extends the reach of CCI By adding transactions worth more than Rs 2,000 crore to those that need regulator approval, the new rules broaden the application of CCI’s merger regulation.
- Settlement Mechanism: Through the use of negotiated settlements, the amendment brings a plan for commitment and settlement that aims to cut down on lawsuits.
This program can be used in cases of cartels, but not in cases of agreements that hurt competition or abuse dominance.
Reducing the Effects of US Monetary Policy: Countries can reduce the effects of US monetary policy on their own economies by using less US currency.
- Promoting the ease of doing business: The changes to the Competition Act are meant to lower regulatory barriers and make India a better place to do business. The changes should make things clearer for companies doing business in India and make it easier for them to follow the rules.
- Improved Transparency: To improve transparency and accountability in the Indian market, the meaning of “turnover” has been expanded to include global turnover. The amendment makes sure that businesses cannot move their income to other nations in order to avoid paying fines for breaking competition laws.
Competition Commission of India
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) was officially set up in March 2009. It is a government body that is required by law to enforce the Competition Act of 2002.
- The Act bans agreements that hurt competition, limits business mergers that hurt competition in India a lot, and says that businesses can’t take advantage of their strong positions.
- One chairperson and six other members of the Commission are chosen by the federal administration.
- The commission acts in a way that is similar to a court. It gives advice to government agencies and handles antitrust cases.