* Disruptive events not only test resilience & adaptive capacity but can also unleash innovations
Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairman, Competition Commission of India (CCI) today said that dialogue with stakeholders can be effective in preventing violation of law and can help mitigate a range of competition concerns without burdening the industry with compliance and litigation cost. “CCI is committed to support the industry in being competition law compliant. A vibrant industry founded on a level playing field and characterized by healthy competition could pave the way for Indian economy to come out of the setback caused by the pandemic and move on to a higher long-term growth trajectory,” he asserted.
Addressing the webinar ‘Competition Law: Revolutionizing Corporate & Legal Strategies’, organized by FICCI Karnataka State Council, Mr Gupta said that as we move ahead it is imperative that the principles of good corporate governance and fair competition are adhered to and complied with. “These are the key aspects of the recovery process that need to be observed diligently,” he added.
Mr Gupta also stated that Karnataka, being the fourth largest global technology cluster, has emerged as a leading destination for investments and a hub for Start-ups. FICCI Karnataka State Council has a critical role to play as the economy strives to recover from COVID-19. “As we emerge out of the devastating second wave, an immediate concern is how to boost the economy and investment sentiments. Disruptive events not only test the resilience and adaptive capacity but can also unleash forces of innovation and creativity towards shaping a more sustainable and inclusive future,” he emphasized.
Mr Gupta said that in recent years the digital markets have been the major focus area of the CCI. Digital markets are bringing in innovation on one hand and are also giving rise to various competition concerns on the other. “Given the very fast evolution of the digital markets the focus has been to act swiftly and craft remedies to address these issues. In a young jurisdiction like India where legacy issues have not yet faded completely, stakeholders not fully aware of the benefits of competition and pro-market reforms still an ongoing agenda, enforcement cannot be the only route to market corrections,” he added.
Highlighting the measures taken by the Commission, Mr Gupta said that CCI has come out with a Competition Compliance Manual for the benefit of the corporates. He further said that Commission is in the process of introducing a confidentiality regime in line with the best global practices in consultation with all stakeholders. “The idea behind these initiatives has been to engage with the industry not only for prompt detection and rectification of competition problems but also to make them realize that all stand to gain from fair and competitive markets,” he said.
Speaking on the process of mergers and acquisitions, Mr Gupta that CCI has been working to streamline the procedures and promote ease of doing business by ensuring speedy clearance to reduce procedural burden. “A green channel has been introduced recently for automatic approval and this is first of its kind, a trust-based system in the world, where notifiable transaction with no overlaps between the parties is being approved on its filing,” he added.
Competition, he said promotes overall welfare by enhancing efficiency, promoting innovation leading to wider product choice and better quality. Strengthening competitive pressures in the economy acts to lower entry barriers which enables the creation and expansion of small businesses which in turn facilitates the introduction of new technologies, added Mr Gupta.
Mr K Ullas Kamath, Chairman, FICCI Karnataka State Council and Joint MD, Jyothy Labs Ltd said that competition and transparency are the two important pillars of corporate governance. “The collaborative approach of the legal fraternity, corporate and govt officials will help us to meet the global standards the best practices,” he added.
Mr Manish Mohan Govil, Adviser (Combination), Competition Commission of India; Mr Kaizad Adi Hazari, General Counsel & Head-Legal, Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India; Mr Kanaiya Thakker, Joint President & Head- Legal, Ambuja Cements; Mr Amit Bhasin, Executive Vice President & Head Legal, Marico Ltd and Mr Prashanth Shivadass, Advocate & Founder, Shivadass & Shivadass Law Chambers also shared their perspective on the competition law.