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Competition Appellate Tribunal: Jurisdiction and Penalties

Jurisdiction

Section 32 of the Competition Act, 2002 empowers the CCI to take action with respect to conduct that has occurred outside India and with respect to the parties located outside India provided that the conduct had an appreciable adverse effect on competition in the relevant market in India. In support of this provision, Section 18 the Act empowers the CCI to enter into a memorandum or arrangement with any agency of any foreign country with the prior approval of the Central Govt.

Private enterprises as well as government owned enterprises and even government departments are covered by the provisions of Competition Act, 2002.

An enquiry or compliant could be initiated or filed before the Bench of CCI if within the local limits of its jurisdiction the respondents actually or voluntarily resides, carries on business or works for personal gain, or where the cause of action wholly or in part arises.

Penalties

The CCI has powers in relation to anti – competitive agreements and abuse of dominant positions. If the CCI finds that there is an unfair competition practice, which caused or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on the competition in India, it may pass all or any of the following order –

A cease and desist order, which directs the parties involved in such agreement or abuse of a dominant position to discontinue acting upon such agreement and not to re-enter such agreement, or to discontinue such abuse of a dominant position, as the case may be;

An order which imposes a monetary penalty, as deemed fit but that does not exceed 10% of the average turnover for the last three preceding financial years, on each party to the agreement or abuse. Provided that in case of a cartel, the CCI may impose on each producer, seller, distributor, trader or service provider included in that cartel a penalty of up to three times its profit for each year of the continuance of such agreement or 10% its turnover for each that it continues such agreement, whichever is higher;

  • An order directs that the agreement must stand modified to the extent and in the manner that may be specified in the order;
  • An order that directs compliance with its orders and directions, including payment of costs;
  • An order that directs the division of an enterprise that is abusing its dominant position to ensure that it can no longer abuse its dominance; and
  • Any order or direction as the CCI deems fit.

Further, any person may apply to the Competition Appellate Tribunal for the recovery of compensation from any enterprise for any loss or damage shown to have been suffered by such person as a result of the enterprise –

  • Violating directions issued by the CCI;
  • Contravening, with no reasonable ground, any decision or order of the CCI issued under sections 27, 28, 31, 32 and 33 or any condition or restriction subject to which any approval, sanctions, directions or exemption in relation to any matter has been accorded, given, made or granted under the Competition Act; or
  • Delaying in carrying out such orders or directions

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