Abuse of Dominance Under the Competition Act, 2002: Developments and Trends

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Kalyani Singh, Mar 26, 2014

On December 9, 2013, the Competition Commission of India imposed a penalty of approximately INR 17 billion on Coal India Limited for abusing its dominance under the Competition Act, 2002 ; this is the maximum penalty as yet imposed on a company. This case was yet another instance of the increasing rigor with which competition law is being enforced in India.

Since coming into force in 2009, CCI-the antitrust regulatory body in India-has effectively asserted the importance of the Competition Act in the Indian economy. The architecture of the Competition Act is premised on standard antitrust legislation prevalent in most jurisdictions: it regulates anticompetitive agreements, abuse of dominance, and combinations. Notwithstanding this similarity in legislative text, as can be expected in developing jurisdictions India has substantially diverged in the enforcement of competition law. Particular to this divergence is its enforcement of abuse of dominance. As revealed through the CCI’s decisions, a unique position regarding abuse of dominance has evolved in India.

This article attempts to shed some light on the law and subsequent developments and trends relating to abuse of dominance under the Competition Act.