CCI Chief Says Recently Notified Regulations Applicable To Cases Under Investigation

After carrying out detailed public consultations, the watchdog has notified the regulations related to settlement, commitment, leniency plus, and turnover

The recently notified competition regulations on settlement, commitment, leniency plus and global turnover will be applicable to cases that are under investigation by the Competition Commission, according to the watchdog's chief Ravneet Kaur.

In an interview with PTI, she also said the new regulations related to settlement and commitment framework will help in providing quick market correction.

Last year, Parliament cleared various amendments to the Competition Act, and in recent times, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has notified the regulations pertaining to the changes.

After carrying out detailed public consultations, the watchdog has notified the regulations related to settlement, commitment, leniency plus, and turnover.

About the leniency plus regime, the CCI Chairperson said it will act as an incentive for an entity to provide details about the existence of a cartel and stressed the importance of getting information about cartelisation to establish the existence of a cartel.

Now, the watchdog also has the power to impose a penalty of up to 10 per cent of a company's global turnover for competition law violations. The provision could have a larger impact on companies having multi-products or multi-services and also assumes significance as cases related to the digital market are being probed by the CCI.

The penalty can also be up to 30 per cent of the average relevant turnover/ income, subject to the legal maximum, which is 10 per cent of the global turnover.

To a query on the applicability of the new regulations, Kaur said, "Since the regulations have been notified, they will be applicable to all cases, including those that are under investigation".

According to her, the regulations were finalised after engaging with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including industry representatives, legal experts, consumer groups and the academic community.

"We believe that such a participatory approach is crucial in crafting regulations that are balanced, pragmatic, and conducive to fostering an environment where competition thrives, innovation is encouraged and consumers are protected," Kaur said.

Over some time, the CCI has passed significant rulings against various entities, especially in the digital market, for anti-competitive practices. Some of the orders have been challenged legally by the entities concerned.

"There may be legal challenges for the rulings, but by and large, the Competition Commission of India's views have been accepted by the courts," Kaur said in response to a query on most of the regulator's rulings facing legal challenges.

Kaur also said the regulator is expediting cases against cartels and those relating to the digital market. The Digital Market Data Unit (DMDU) has also started functioning at the regulator.

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