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Competition Commission Must Study Foreign Firms Conduct, Says Sitharaman

Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to look into the behaviour of companies overseas that affects Indian consumers.

Addressing an event organised to mark ten years of the CCI, Sitharaman said the commission should study global practices of companies and should take cognizance if such practices lead to competition issues in India.

She also said the commission should look at taking suo motu cognizance more often to ensure that nobody abuses dominant position or creates competition issues. “New economy is a challenge now.”

The CCI is already studying the new economy segment to understand how some companies abuse dominant positions.

Google has been one of the new-age firms that has been under the CCI scanner for its popular Android mobile operating system allegedly blocking its rivals.

According to Sitharaman, it is just not the number of suo motu cases but also the way in which the commission has to keep itself alert to many developments happening globally.

Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said the commission should withdraw excessive control. The expert committee that reviewed the competition law and submitted its findings has recommended that there should be more branches of the commission.

The panel also suggested that a board be set up within the commission which will have representatives from other regulators so that there is no turf war. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board will be part of this forum, which will resolve disputes with the CCI.

In the past, regulators — like TRAI — have had issues with the CCI about jurisdiction over companies pertaining to their sectors.―Business Standard

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