October 21, 2019

`Commitment and Settlement’ clause to be introduced in the Competition Act

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


The government is working on amendments to the Competition Act, 2002, to allow quick settlement of anti-trust cases outside the otherwise lengthy adjudication procedure. The Centre will introduce a ‘commitment and settlement’ clause in the Competition Act. This is likely to be amended in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.

The enabling clause will allow those found in contravention of the competition law to ‘commit’ to correct its ways to avoid further action even before the investigation is completed. This is part of a set of amendments recommended by a 10-member panel led by corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas.

The provision for ‘settlement and commitment’ that is prevalent in the European Union, which will be introduced in India’s competition law will lead to speedier resolution of anti-trust cases. The aim of the move is to rationalize regulatory framework and improving the ease of doing business. Businesses facing charges of anti-competitive practices can resolve the case by paying a settlement amount. However, the settlement shall not be appealable. Settlement option would be available for cases related to anti-competitive agreements such as exclusive supply deals as well as cases of abuse of dominance. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) will also decide non-monetary terms while allowing settlement of such cases. Settlement options are already available to businesses under the regulatory framework of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Income Tax Department.

Commitment and settlement options are efficient ways of resolving cases. It reduces the cost of investigation, improves compliance and shall prove to be a win-win for both the parties.

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