HM Journal

Procedure to file complaint under Competition Act

INTRODUCTION

The establishment of Competition Commission of India (CCI) was under the Competition Act, 2002 for the management, execution and imposition of the Act, and was duly added up to in 2009. Objectives of the Commission are as followed:

  1. To stop practices having adverse effect on competition,
  2. To promote and sustain competition in markets,
  3. To protect the interests of consumers and
  4. To ensure freedom of trade

Resulting upon a challenge to certain provisions of the Act and therefore the observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Act was alter by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007. The Competition Act, 2002, revoke and replaced the MRTP (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices) Act, with result on 1st September, 2009.

How does the Competition Commission proceed?

  • When the case is filled:

Anyone can appeal before the secretary of commission. Within the duration of 15 days CCI has to judge if the report is clear or not, if the case is not clear then within 60 days it has to form its opinion. Although it is a lengthy procedure.

  • On finding the evidence:

At the clear stage, the CCI isn’t required to and usually doesn’t question the proof from all the parties involved. The CCI has the discretion to call or not call the other party for the clear hearing.

  • On informing the other party

 Usually, during the course of investigation, the other party is informed of the case only when the DG, sends a notice to the party. CCI doesn’t send clear orders to the other party.

  • On sharing DG’s report with other parties

In case the DG doesn’t find a violation, the DG’s report isn’t shared with the parties. Although, in case of violation by the other parties, when DG submits the report back to the CCI, the Commission shares the report with the parties and exceptions to the DG’s report are summoned.

  • The investigation time taken by DG

The DG is required to submit a report within 60 days when a case comes up for investigation. Although, before the investigation report is submitted to the CCI, the DG Usually requests for several extensions.

The DG Usually takes 8-15 months to finish an investigation, counting on the complexity of the investigation and number of parties involved and such extensions are generally necessary for a good investigation to be undertaken.

  • On the process followed in merger cases

Within the period of 30 days, mergers and acquisitions (combination) cases, on receipt of a notification form, the CCI is required to make a clear opinion, this is often phase I of the review processes. If the CCI requires the parties to get rid of defects within the notification or to supply additional information, it “stops the clock” until the extra information is provided

This means that it is a longer process than 30 days for the CCI to make such a clear opinion. To date, all combinations notified to the CCI are cleared in phase I of the review process.

If the CCI forms a clear opinion that a combination causes or is probably going to cause an unfavorable effect on competition, an in-depth investigation will follow which is named phase II of investigation.

  • On whether CCI is bound by law to offer last order within the given period of time:

The Competition Act doesn’t permit an extreme time limit for an investigation initiated – from filing of the knowledge to the ultimate order, in respect of an anti-competitive agreement or an abuse of dominance.

Procedure for inquiry under section 19 of Competition Act, 2002:

  • On receipt of a complaint or a reference from the Central Government or a state government or a statutory authority or on its own knowledge or there is a clear case, it shall direct the Director General to cause an investigation to be made into the matter.
  •  Under sub section (1), The DG shall, on receipt of direction, submit a report on his finding within the time limit described by the Commission.
  • Where on receipt of a complaint under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 19, the Commission is of the opinion that there exists no clear case, it shall dismiss the complaint and should pass such orders because it deems fit, including force of costs, if mandatory.
  • The Commission shall send on a duplicate of  the report with reference to sub-section (2) to the concerning parties or to the Central Government or the state government or the statutory authority, because the case could also be:
  • If the report of the DG relies on a complaint and such report recommends that there’s no contravention of any such provisions of this Act, the complainant shall be given a chance to rebut the findings of the DG.
  • If the Commission agrees with the advice of the Director General, after hearing the complainant, it shall dissolve the complaint.
  • The proceeding of further inquiry of the complaint can be held with the permission of Commission, after hearing the complaint of the complainant.
  • If the report of the Director General relates on a reference made under sub-section (1) and such report advocate that there is no infringement of the provisions of this Act, the Commission shall summon comments of the Central Government or the State Government or the statutory authority,
  • If the case may be, on such a report and on receipt of such comments, the Commission shall return the testimonial if the case is not clear or go with the testimonial as a complaint if there is a clear case.

Conclusion:

  • The notifying party declares and confirms that each one information given during this Form and every one page annexed hereto is true, correct and complete to the simplest of its knowledge and belief, which all estimates are identified intrinsically and are its best estimates supporting the underlying facts.
  • The notifying party is conscious of the provisions of sections 44 and 45 of the Act.
  1. Notification Dated 28th August, 2009
  2. Competition (Amendment) Act 2007, 39 0f 2007

Written By : Nazmin Shaikh (4th Year/7th semester)

College Name : Children Welfare Centre law College, Mumbai.

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