The Competition Commission of India
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body that was officially established by the government of India in March, 2009. It is the major national competition regulator in India tasked with the authority to regulate, investigate and adjudicate on all ant-competition disputes in the national market system operation. The competition commission was established under the Competition Act, 2002. The key objective of the CCI is to improve the efficacy of the competition laws in India and minimize monopoly of a few firms in the market system.
Composition of CCI
The Competition Commission of India consist of a total of seven whole-time members including a chairman and six other official members who shall be appointed by the central government according to the Competition Act, 2002. The CCI is a quasi-judicial body that gives legal opinions to other statutory authorities on modes of operations as well as handling certain cases brought to it under the completion Act.
Eligibility of membership includes
The chairman as well as all other six members must be a person of ability, integrity and standing and persons who have been or are qualified to be a judge in the High Courts or having a not less than fifteen years’ experience in special knowledge on certain domains of administration, law, economics, Business, International trade, finance and accountancy among others which in the opinions of the central government would be of merit to the Commission.
- To make the market work for the benefits and welfare of the consumers
- To effectively implement all competition policies in India.
- To eradicate Anti-competition market practices among investors.
- To regulate and license new investors, legalizing their activities in the market.
- To regulate the operation of foreign investors to maintain equitable distribution of market resources.
- To give expertise advices to other statutory authorities in implementing their competition laws in India.
- To carry out competition advocacy in the market.
Functions and Role of CCI
- To eliminate practices which have adverse effects in the competitive market, promote and sustain positive competition as well as ensuring free market system in the Indian Economy. This is to allow the existence of new and competitive firms as well as promoting new investments in the Market system in India.
- To give expertise opinions on issues it receives from any statutory authority set under any law with the objective of promoting competitive market strategies in India. This may including authorities to impart trainings to investors, ensuring competition advocacy and creating public awareness in order to tackle the anti-competitive market practices in India.
- To implement competition [policies in India. The competition commission ensures that all competition regulations and rules and cordially followed by all investors in the Market by training investors, creating awareness to people, registering cases under the competition Act, 2002 and conducting investigations in order to settle disputes related to competition laws in India.
- To ensure consumer awareness and welfare by conducting awareness programs and encouraging sellers to guide each consumers on their rights and shifting the burden of proof to the sellers for their misconducts in the markets.
- To promote healthy competition. The commission further works towards promoting market friendly competitions among investors and discourages such activities as monopolies, duplication of products and through Intellectual property rights to investors.
- To develop, nurture and promote effective sectorial relations among different sectors of the economy in order to ease the alignment and coordination among the different sectors in matters related to the competition laws in India.
- To promote and carry out competition advocacy in the market. This is through offering incentives and exemption to new investors in the market in order to motivate investment in the economy. Competition trainings to aid the investors with the necessary skills required for competition in India.
- To act as a guiding principle for foreign investors who shows interest in investing in India. The CCI ensures that such foreign investors abide by its competition laws internally for the common economic good of the nation.
- To serve notices and restrict foreign investors in case it senses that their activities are detrimental to the market strategy in India. This is done by withdrawing of the license of operations and penalizing of such businesses which operates in contravention to the competition laws in India.
Efficacy of CCI
The competition commission of India have greatly impacted the competition market in India in several ways including the following;
- Highly effective adjudication mechanisms where the commission has effectively adjudicated over one thousand anti-trust cases since its establishment. It is further evidential that the rate of adjudications and case disposal is estimated at 89% so far.
- The commission further has promoted competition through innovations and combination in the forms of mergers, an attempt to elevate competition and discouraging monopoly in the market strategies.
- The commission all through has been successful in implementing the competition policies in India. This is depicted in the regulatory registration of foreign investors by giving them licenses to validate their operations in India among others.
Challenges faced by CCI
Threat from Cartelization
Due to the recent global pandemic and the adverse impacts posed by the Eastern Europe wars, there has been a perverse danger of hoarding of goods and thus severe shortage of products that has resulted into cartelization of the limited products by certain firms. A danger of excessive prices for goods and services.
The Threat of Digitalization
During the time of enactment of the competition Act, 2002, there has been limited access to the modern digital platforms and thus the impact of intellectual property rights needs to be incorporated with all its relevant laws.
Demand to Redefine the New Market
India’s market has gone through several advancements and therefore, limited boundaries and witness in the space market as a result of digitalization. The need of the market definition to include all areas as physical, digital and the space business marketing.
The Competition Act, 2002
The completion Act was established in 2002 with the major objective of regulating competition between firms in the operating market system. The Act is a statutory legislation which provides for the establishment of the Competition commission of India in order to ensure its implementation and enforcement of its laws. The Act also provides for the establishment of a concrete body to aid in the adjudication procedures in situations where anti-competition cases arise in the market between firms. It equally permits for hearing appeals from this tribunal and re-decideswhere necessary under the principle of justice, equity and good conscience. The Act further establishes the grounds for licensing of foreign investors to operate in India.
- To prevent practices that have adverse effects on competition.
- To promote and sustain competition in the Market.
- To protect the interest of the consumers.
- To ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in the Market in India
The idea of the competition commission of India was conceived and introduced by the Vajpayee government which resulted due to the need to tackle the demands of the 1991 Indian economic liberalization. The commission was further introduced to promote competitive market and observe the efficiency of the Competition Act, 2002 as well as other competition regulatory statutory authorities in India. This was seen to be done by advocating for competitions in the market, licensing of new investors in the market and regulating the activities of foreign investors in the Indian Market structure. This was tailored to promote consumer welfare and avoid trade malpractices among Indian firms.