Law Insider India

Legal News, Current Trends and Legal Insight | Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Recent cases of Competition Commission of India

8 min read
CCI recent cases - law insider

By Nirupam Deo

Published On : August 19, 2021 17:51 IST

Introduction

Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body that was formed by The Competition Act, 2002. Its main objective was deterring activities that have hindering consequences on Competition in India.

It was made to constrain and penalize the numerous business firms whose strategies and means are anti-competitive by essence and to not let the Government interfere with Private Business which is an impediment to Competition. This Act was passed to replace the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 because it became trivial to the test of the time.

It can get its treaties approved in both Oral and Written formats. Its horizons extend to both individual and business firms. It has been Amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 and again by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2009 previously.

This Act was inaugurated by Shri Arun Jaitley, the Former Finance Minister of India on 6th August 2001 under the Vajpayee government, got the Approval of the Houses of Parliament on 13 January 2003 and ultimately was enforced on 31 March 2003.

In this article we are going to discuss some of the recent cases that Competition Commission of India has been accentuated with.

Some Recent Cases in which CCI was involved

Some recent news that highlighted the Competition Commission of India are given as follows:

  • Flipkart challenged the Karnataka High Court decision on the case of the Competition Commission of India probe in Apex Court[i]

This resentment came off as a Probe made by Competition Commission of India after constant objections against Flipkart and Amazon as attempting anti-competition norms by lending too much rebate on commodities.

The Karnataka High Court believed that the companies must let Competition Commission of India investigate into the issues if they are optimistic of being non-guilty.

  • Competition Commission of India incriminates Amazon with burying facts in the Future Coupon deal[ii]

Amazon indicted the Parent Company of Future Coupon, Future Company for allowing itself to be sold out to Reliance Corporations when it was in the negotiation between Amazon and Future Groups to not peddle the Company to anybody after Amazon acquired its 49% stakes.

Competition Commission of India later implicated Amazon of concealing this treaty from the Competition Commission of India. Competition Commission of India made it into the light that Amazon suppressed the factual facets of the Amazon-Future Coupons contract by not disclosing its conscious elements while looking for authorization of the deal in 2019.

In Competition Commission of India’s 2019 authorization on it was mentioned “approval shall stand revoked at any time the information is found to be false.

  • The Uber Pricing Case:

The Competition Commission of India calls off the “predatory pricing” of the Uber Company as a means for ascertaining authority in the market and further abusing the same.

  • Competition Commission on lookout for Vertical Restraints of E-Commerce market

Competition Commission of India glances into Vertical Restraints in the Indian e-commerce Market assessed by the lead institutions like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Jabong, etc. to bargain with new-age Competition issues.

As it is highly predicted by Competition Commission of India  that the e-commerce will take over the General way of transaction very soon and become a prominent player with the Buisness trends in India, it has been on scrutiny to it’s policies which will affect the market in times to come.

  • Competition Commission of India to grant clearance to Companies under Second Amendment to insolvency and bankruptcy code, 2016[iii]

CCI has taken over its shoulders to deal with the Companies who have gone Bankrupt or on verge of Bankruptcy because of the recent Pandemic. It aims at aiding those Companies to start and start running again to promote more Competition in the market.

  • Fine imposition on Airlines[iv]

Competition Commission of India imposed a fine of Rs. 258 crores on three airlines namely Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet, for cartelisation in determining the fuel surcharge on air cargo.

  • Competition Commission of India takes step for decartelisation of Indian Cement Companies[v]

A number of Cement companies includinggroup companies, ACC and Ambuja Cement, denounced of price-fixing, governing market shares and hoarding, for gains. Competition Commission of India had assessed a fine of Rs. 63.07 billion on 11 cement companies for cartels.

Cartelization has been a general way of Companies to turnabout a authoritarian price fixing by the aid of its own Competition and it reduces the Competition to nullity.  Indian Cement Companies had been indulged in the same behaviour since a long period of time. Competition Commission of India took it upon its shoulders to step in and stop this malpractice.

  • Shikha Roy Vs Jet Airways (India) Ltd.[vi]

It was brought to the attention of Competition Commission of India that the Aviation Industries have been oppressing the passengers by seizing excessive money for rescue from earthquakes, etc. in Chennai, Nepal, etc. Competition Commission of India was of the belief that no Agreement had taken place between both the parties so it is not under the purview of Competition Commission of India.

  • WhatsApp “no-opt” out a recent update of 2021

Competition Commission of India took the issues at hand accusing WhatsApp of introducing a no opt-out policy where the user accepts his intrusion to Privacy which shall be disseminated with Facebook and its third parties.

It indicted WhatsApp to be interfering into National Security by sharing delicate data with its third parties.

WhatsApp contended that its policies were only meant to make the ordeal more transparent and that it attends every policy of the IT Act and the fact that Competition Commission of India doesn’t need to impede in this case.

 The Court held that the policy indeed was unreasonable, users were intimidated into agreeing and their data was shared with Facebook and it’s the third party and was accused under Section 4 of the Competition Act.

  • Alleged cartelization and anti-competitive practices between the Uber and Ola drivers:

The Informant came with the objection of joint Cartelization of Uber and Ola drivers at High Price fixing. The Court nonetheless was of the view that the user can download a varied app and a case of slander be filed against the Informant.

  • Allegation arose against WhatsApp doing unfair business:

The Informant came with the complaint that WhatsApp has been imposing “WhatsApp Pay” in its app and has been surveying users’ way of transaction and account of money through several permissions it takes. Competition Commission of India nevertheless dismissed the assertion stating the usage is completely at the user’s preference.

  • Finance Minister, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman suggested Competition Commission of India take extra care to ensure the market process is not undermined:

This recommendation comes off as against a backdrop of the Covid situation India has been confronting from the last year during which many businesses have gone awry and bankrupt. In the face of the failure of so many businesses, the finance minister made her concern known to the Competition Commission to guarantee that it doesn’t do any omission or ultra vires commission of its Powers.

She went on to appreciate the way Competition Commission has been consistently doing its Duty and wants it to keep it that way especially while the businesses are facing tough Challenges, Mrs. Sitharaman wants the Competition Commission of India to be the guiding light.

 In context to the newly formed body, she hinted at the “teenage stature” of the body and that under the excellent Leadership of eminent heads, the Committee is bound to bloom and help in the development of business culture in India.

  • Fair Trade watchdog Competition Commission of India is protecting model concession agreements in Infrastructure and Public Service delivery segments to guarantee the minimization of mitigation to Competition issues in India:

It has been working with Niti Aayog upon key Public Service Delivery in sectors like Airport, National Highways, Railways, etc.

The Chairperson Mr Gupta assured of a harmonious approach at enforcement of its rules and crucial actions be taken against the violators. He underscored taking care of these key sectors would ensure good competition in India.

  • E-Commerce rules are harming the online business in India:

Many Government Agencies and business individuals have conveyed their interest over the current e-commerce policies which are hurting the sentiments of solace of doing business and all-around investment sentiments.

Many companies give this premonition charge to the License Raj culture of India which lets bureaucratic supervision over Businesses offline or online which is severely impeding the Business.

It deters foreign investment and news of many Consumer Affair Ministry interference in working of Competition Commission of India is disheartening for Governmental Control over an Independent agency.

  • IELTS’s accession by IDP for £130 million caused a huge bluster

IELTS has been a leader at affirming British certification for English mastery and governing Foreign Education worldwide. India is the biggest market for IELTS for foreign education.

The Association for Study Abroad Consultants in India (ASACI) conveyed its suspicion of monopolization of Foreign Education in India by IDP.

IDP, on a background check, is an Agent of Universities who pay a fee for sending International Students to their Campus, a Counsellor, and a Test Conductor with Coaching facilities, and all these three tags together are quite disturbing for handing over the entire Foreign Education in India, in their hands. 

  • Competition Commission of India approves the merger of Renew Power with RMG 2:

Renew Power is into generating electricity through non-conventional and renewable resources. The deal would form the first major overseas listing of an Indian Company via the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) route.

Conclusion

The Competition Commission of India takes care of most of the fortuitous trade deals, antitrust deals, and business of anti-competition in nature. It has been a key factor in reducing Corruption within the system of India. It does take into notice that the buyer is not forced into making decisions, is strictly against cartelization or any form of groupism by the manufactures and sellers to violate the Right of buyers.

It encourages good competition among the sellers to infuse motivation between them to improve the quality and quantity of their service while not violating the rights of the Customers. It takes care of every anti-trust policy in Business and is an official Competition enthusing body that encourages Competition in every form which only leads to betterment in quality and quantity of service provided.

It also helps the Businesses when they are low by helping them to prevent going bankrupt and infuses vitality. It is among the key guardian of checking the Business flows smoothly in the Country.

References


[i]Flipkart moves Supreme Court against probe in antitrust case (Last seen 17th August, 2021 at 16:16)

[ii]Competition Commission Accuses Amazon Of Hiding Facts In Future Group Deal (Last seen 17th August, 16:13)

[iii]Second Amendment to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Last seen 17th August, 2021 at 16:18)

[iv]CCI fines Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet for unfair business practices (last seen: 17th August, 2021 at 16:23)

[v]Competition panel orders fresh probe into cartelisation in cement industry (Last seen : 17th August, 2021 at 16:25)

[vi]Shikha Roy Vs Jet Airways (India) Ltd. 2021 SCC OnLine CCI 31