Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of the Government of India, responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India, and prevents activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India. It was established by Central Government on 14th October 2003 and became fully functional in May 2009. It has a chairperson with a team of a minimum 2 and maximum of 6 members as a part of CCI who are appointed by the Central government.
For instance – CCI imposed a penalty on Pharma companies, trade associations for violating the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.
The important features of the Competition Act of 2002 are the establishment of the Competition Commission of India and promote the competition which is positive and healthy and to support economic growth. There are various duties of CCI like, to eliminate practices having adverse effect competition and to promote and sustain competition. It protects the interest of consumers and ensures freedom of trade in the markets of India. CCI also encourages the creation of entities that can deliver faster and better goods and services and also inspire businesses to be fair and innovative as well as create public awareness. Also, CCI provides opinions on competition issues which is received from statutory authority.
Functions of CCI
-The commission has the power to regulate its own procedure.
-Inquiry into a certain agreement and dominant position of enterprise
-Reference of an issue by statutory authority to the Commission.
-Power to issue interim order.
-Competition Advocacy (means those activities which are conducted to promote a competitive environment for economic activities.)
A cartel is an organization created from a formal agreement between a group of producers of goods and services to regulate the supply in an effort to manipulate the prices. Collection of otherwise independent businesses or countries acting as single producer and able to fix prices without competition. CCI often imposes penalties on companies for cartelization.
The main purpose of competition law is to promote economic efficiency. The advantages of perfect competition are:
-To ensures the effective allocation of resources,
-To ensures that costs of production are kept at a minimum.
-Promotes innovative practices.
Shri Surinder Singh Barmi v. Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) (Case No. 61/2010)
On 8 February 2013, CCI imposed a penalty 52.24 Crores on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for misusing its dominant position.
Express Industry Council of India v. Jet Airways (India) & Others ( Case No. 30 of 2013)
On 17 November 2015, CCI imposed a fine of 258 crores upon three airlines. Competition Commission of India (CCI) had inflicted the penalty from the three airlines for cartelization in determining the fuel charge on air cargo. A penalty of Rs 151.69 crores was imposed on Jet Airways, while that on Inter-Globe Aviation Limited (Indigo) and Spice Jet are Rs 63.74 crores and Rs 42.48 crores respectively.
Bharti Airtel Limited v. Reliance Industries Limited & Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio Case) ( Case No. 03 of 2017)
In May 2017, CCI ordered an investigation into the functioning of the Cellular Operators Association of India following a complaint filed by Reliance Jio against the cartelization by its rivals Bharati Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea cellular
The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition Act, 2007. The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises, and regulates them, which likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
Author- Yukti Chordiya
LEGALEAGLE LAW FORUM