Last week, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) notified the Draft Competition (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Draft Bill). The proposed changes reflect recommendations made by the Competition Law Review Committee (CLRC) in July 2019. Public comments may be made until 6 March 2020. The 49 page Draft Bill contains a large number of proposed amendments to the Competition Act, 2002 (Act). Many of these have important implications for enterprises subject to the Act. A few of these are addressed below.
The jurisdiction of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over anticompetitive agreements is to be expanded. At present, only horizontal and vertical agreements are expressly addressed, though the CCI has asserted jurisdiction over other types of agreements with an appreciable adverse effect on competition (AAEC). It is proposed expressly to include “other agreements” which will be subject to a rule of reason analysis. “Hub and spoke” cartels, involving players at different levels of the supply chain, are also addressed – it is proposed to cover non-competitors in such a scenario who will be liable where they actively participate in the furtherance of an anticompetitive agreement between competitors.
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