This is a rundown of last week’s updates on Antitrust:
CCI imposes penalties on seven for bid-rigging in Indian Railway Tenders
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties amounting to almost Rs. 30 lakhs on seven entities including individuals for manipulating the bidding process of railway tenders and cartelisation. The CCI stated that these entities have formed a cartel in the supply of protective tubes to the Indian Railway and were engaging in anti-competitive practices like determination of prices, controlling supply and allocating tenders. Apart from the penalty, an order to cease and desist from anti-competitive practices was also passed.
National Anti-profiteering Authority to be subsumed into the CCI
The watchdog of GST, the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) is set to be merged with the CCI. The NAA was established in 2017 and has received two extensions since. No further extension is planned, but the investigation wing of the NAA will continue in some form under the CCI. The plan is to transfer the NAA’s cases to the CCI after the term of NAA ends. The aim is to reduce multiplicity of regulators.
Digital Market Unit to be set up by CCI to assess conduct of e-commerce platforms
A dedicated Digital Markets Unit (DMU) is proposed to be set up within the CCI to deal with the increasing instances of competition law violations by e-commerce platforms and other firms in the digital sector. This step is to ensure that anti-competitive behaviour in the digital sector does not go undetected. These amendments are likely to be tabled in the monsoon session of the Parliament.
Authored by Rohan Jacob (Associate) and Snigdha Saraff (Intern).
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