Competition in the economy is the best way to ensure that the Common Man gets access to the widest range of goods and services at the most competitive prices. This more important for a developing economy like ours. With increasing competition in India, the producers have maximum incentive to innovate and specialize in their goods and services. A fair competition results in reduced costs and wider choice to consumers.
The Competition Commission of India is a statutory authority with the mandate to enforce competition Act 0f 2002. The objective of the CCI is to create and sustain fair competition in the economy which will provide a ‘level playing field’ to the producers, while making the markets work for the welfare of the consumers.
The Competition Act, 2002, after amendment by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, follows the ideals of modern competition laws. The Act established the Competition Commission of India (CCI), from 14th October 2003 to achieve the aforementioned objectives.
The Competition Act 2002 prohibits anti-competitive agreements between enterprises, or the abuse of dominant position by these enterprises. The Act regulates combinations (in form of acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), that causes or are most likely to cause, any appreciable adverse effect on the competition level within Indian economy.
Composition of Competition Commission of India (CCI):
The CCI comprises of a Chairperson and six Members, who are appointed by the Government of India. The Commission is manned by the following members
- Chairperson – Ashok Chawla,
- Member – S. L. Bunker
- Member – Sudhir Mital
- Member – Augustine Peter
- Member – U. C. Nahta
The term of office of all the members of CCI is 5 years or till the attainment of age pf 65 years(whichever is early). The members are eligible for re-appointment.
The Chairperson and other members of CCI cannot hold any further employment for a period of two years from the date they cease to hold office in the Commission. But this restriction does not applies to any employment in the Union and State Government authority.
Objectives of Competition Commission of India CCI:
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been entrusted with the following task –
- To promote and then sustain an enabling competition culture through engagement and enforcement which would inspire businesses to be fair, competitive and innovative.
- To enhance the consumer welfare
- To support economic growth.
- The Competition Commission of India aims to establish a robust competitive environment through proactive engagement with all the stakeholders including the consumers, industry, government as well as international jurisdictions.
Functions of Competition Commission of India (CCI):
- It is the duty of the CCI to eliminate such practices that have adverse effect on competition.
- It is mandated to promote and sustain competition while protecting the interests of consumers.
- CCI ensures freedom of trade in the Indian market.
- The Commission also gives opinion on competition issues when asked by a statutory authority which is established under law.
- It is also required to undertake competition advocacy.
- The CCI also creates public awareness and imparts training on competition issues.
- Additionally, an appellate body called ‘Competition Appellate Tribunal‘ was also set up based on the Amendment Act of 2009, which allows for final appeal to Supreme Court of India.
- CCI is therefore, fully empowered to carry out the mandated functions.
The Competition Appellate Tribunal:
- The tribunal is established by the Central Government to hear, and dispose of appeals against orders and directions passed by the Competition Commission of India.
- The Competition Appellate Tribunal adjudicates on claims for compensation that may have arisen from the findings of the Competition Commission of India.
The Competition Appellate Tribunal is composed of a Chairperson and maximum 2 members. Their term of office is 5 years or till they attain the age of 65 years. The members of the tribunal are eligible for re-appointment.
The provisions of the Tribunal allow for a final appeal to the Supreme Court of India if the aggrieved parties are not satisfied with the adjudications of the tribunal.
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