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Competition Bill with host of changes passed in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha has passed the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which seeks to amend the Competition Act, of 2002, on Wednesday. The amendments have been on several aspects of the existing framework.

Some of the major changes include the expansion of the scope of cartel prosecution, the introduction of a deal value threshold for mergers and combinations, the modification of ‘turnover’ to mean global turnover, among other amendments.

The amendment was proposed in the Lower House of the Parliament in August 2022. It was later referred to a Parliamentary Committee.

The Committee suggested several modifications to the proposed amendment. After considering the suggestions, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs proposed various additional amendments to the Act, which were taken up for consideration on Wednesday.

Two major changes that were proposed under the amendments include modification of the term “turnover” as and when used for penalising errant enterprises that denote “global turnover derived from all the products and services by a person or an enterprise” and secondly, the proposal to punish the entities with the “intention” to collude through a hub-and-spoke mechanism for having anti-competitive conduct.

For the last few weeks, there has been a ruckus in the Parliament over the Adani issue and the Houses had been adjourned several times in the past few weeks. The House was adjourned even on Wednesday after the Bill was passed.

The Competition Act, 2002 (as amended) follows the philosophy of modern competition laws and aims at fostering competition and at protecting Indian markets against anti-competitive practices by enterprises. The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, and abuse of dominant position by enterprises, and regulates combinations (mergers, amalgamations, and acquisitions) with a view to ensure that there is no adverse effect on competition in India. ZeeBiz

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