The Competition Commission of India (CCI) unveiled draft regulations pertaining to Commitments and Settlements proceedings. Below is a snapshot of how it affects companies trying to invest in India.

The Monopolies and Restrictive Practises Act of 1969 was enacted by the government of India to ensure that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of economic power in hands of a few, to keep a tab on monopolies and To prohibit monopolistic and restrictive trade practices. This act was replaced by the Competition Act of 2002, which was enacted by the Indian government in an effort upgrade the archaic definitions of monopolistic practices.  The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023 was passed in April 2023, further strengthening and improving this. On August 23rd a few new features have been added to this act to ensure that the newer scenarios and concepts can be included in its scope.

Notably, the amendments enable parties to approach the CCI for commitments and settlements in cases involving anti-competitive vertical agreements and abuse of dominance and also specify the content, assessment criteria and nature of both commitment and settlement orders. Also this amendment has introduced a time restriction as to conclusion of applications.

These regulations, while yet to be implemented, mark the initial step towards operationalizing the Commitments and Settlements frameworks. The CCI’s newly proposed Settlement and Commitment Scheme introduces a potential lifeline for major technology companies embroiled in investigations, providing avenues to address allegations of abuse of dominant position while aiming to streamline regulatory processes and facilitate market adjustments.

The aforesaid amendments aim to strengthen competition regulation, streamline operations, and foster a business-friendly environment. This in turn is expected to make India a friendlier place for multinational companies seeking out talent.