K K Sharma, Jul 23, 2013
CPI Asia Column edited by Vanessa Yanhua Zhang (Global Economics Group) presents:
State of Merger Control in India – K K Sharma (KK Sharma Law Offices & ex–Director General, CCI*)
June 1, 2011 was the day India entered into the club of the countries having fully functional competition law.1 After considerable speculation, doubts, oppositions and persuasions, carrying all the stakeholders together, India finally set in place a mechanism for reviewing the acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations (called ‘combinations’ under Indian law) from the perspective of competition law. Even after having been enacted in January 2003, on account of certain legal challenges, the enforcement provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act) could not be brought into force in India till as late as May 20, 2009. Even after the commencement of enforcement of provisions relating to the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant position, the opposition to the complete implementation of competition law in India did not die down. The opposition was more from domestic constituents as they saw in it another layer of Government regulation which, to the extent possible, was better kept in abeyance.
The reasons for opposing merger review regime were varied. Starting from the speculation that the CCI would be sitting over merger clearances for a long time and thus delaying business transactions, to the claims that the CCI did not have a cap…