Antitrust and Competition Laws in India, Corporate Governance | Areness

Our Competition and Antitrust Law team offers unparalleled expertise on an array of related concerns arising from a robust understanding of the Indian and international legal matters, and the global business environment. We have a proven track record of delivering successful and pragmatic solutions to our clients for unanticipated cross-border transactions, complex investigations, acquisitions, joint ventures, mergers, and high-profile litigations.

The Indian Antitrust Law is administered by the Competition Act 2002, as per which, an agreement between companies, individuals, or associations that could harm competition is prohibited. Herein, the term ‘agreement’ is interpreted very broadly. This agreement can be horizontal, particularly between associations, enterprises, persons, etc., involved in similar trade of goods or services. It can also be vertical among different persons and organizations operating at different levels of the production chain in varied markets.

With strategic and nuanced expertise, we advise our domestic and international clients on transactions and investigations involving abuse of dominance, anticompetitive agreements, merger filings arising from national and international mergers and acquisitions, and traditional and digital technology sectors. We represent clients before the Director General (DG), Competition Commission of India (CCI), National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), High Court(s), and the Supreme Court of India, for their alleged involvement in cartels and anti-competitive conduct or abuse of dominant position in filing leniency applications and obtaining a priority status.

Our Competition Law team offers an enviable track record in conducting competition compliance training, competition law audits, advisory on market structures, agreements and abusive practices, review of documents, non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements, definitive agreements, franchise agreements, term sheets, employment agreements to identify potential antitrust issues.

The Competition Act regulates three types of conduct, namely, anti-competitive agreements, abuse of a dominant position, and combinations including mergers, acquisitions, and amalgamations.

  • Anti-competitive Agreements – Section 3 of the Competition Act deals with anti-competitive agreements, which can be categorized into two kinds – Horizontal agreements (Section 3 (3)) and Vertical agreements (Section 3(4)). The details of which have already been stated above.
  • Abuse of Dominant Position – Section 4 of the Act deals with the misuse of position by the dominant company. Although no company is restricted from being in a dominant position, if it uses its position for illegal means then such abuse is prohibited in the act.
  • Cartel Agreements – Those agreements that cause appreciable adverse effects on competition (AAEC) in the market are prohibited under the act. These civil offense agreements are called cartel agreements and fall under the horizontal agreement category.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions – Section 5 and section 6 of the Act comprising all the combinations (mergers, acquisitions, and amalgamations) need prior approval regarding the filing of such mergers and combinations and the de minimis test from the CCI.

During the post-liberalization era, the initial Act was repealed, framing new laws. Thus, the newly framed Competition Law in India promoted competition, provided fair trade and business opportunities, and protected the interests of consumers. It allowed industrialists and businessmen a right to free trade with reasonable restrictions. This act was known as Antitrust Law and served the purposes of such laws in the country.

Following all the domestic and international regulations, our team’s profound experience in practicing Competition and Antitrust Law in India in multiple sectors like technology, shipping, retail, e-commerce, telecommunication, automobile, consumer goods, etc. helps understand the nuances of each sector to protect the client’s unique needs.

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