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Last Updated : Oct 20, 2019 12:52 PM IST | Source: PTI

CCI turns proactive to ensure market correction in timely manner: Chief Ashok Kumar Gupta

The watchdog, which keeps a tab on anti-competitive practices at market place, has so far dealt with more than 1,000 antitrust cases across diverse sectors.

Stepping up efforts to clamp down on unfair business practices, Competition Commission Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta has said the regulator has adopted a proactive approach in taking up cases on a suo motu basis to ensure market correction in a timely manner.

The watchdog, which keeps a tab on anti-competitive practices at market place, has so far dealt with more than 1,000 antitrust cases across diverse sectors.

According to him, for a growing economy like India more and more competition issues are likely to emerge.

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Asserting that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is "essentially an inquisitorial body and not an adversarial body", Gupta noted that it is vested with the responsibility to ensure market correction at large rather than confining itself to redressing individual grievances.

"This is the reason why it does not close a matter even if the parties settle the matter amongst themselves and do not pursue," he told PTI in a recent interview.

The CCI has been taking various steps, including awareness programmes and sectoral studies, as part of larger efforts to promote fair business practices.

"Also, we would not like to constrain ourselves by restricting to matters which are brought before us by the informants. There can be various matters involving serious competition concerns where no one may come forward with an information for various reasons including commercial compulsions.

"The commission has adopted a proactive approach so that whenever any market aberration comes to its notice, cases are taken on suo motu basis without waiting for a formal complaint," he said.

Emphasising that such an approach would ensure market correction in a timely manner, Gupta said the watchdog would be more active towards suo motu cases. There would be a lot of action on this front, he added.

Advocacy and enforcement actions are the key pillars for a robust competition law regime.

"While certain anti-competitive practices may be continuing as a legacy of the past, there could also be issues of conflict of interest, other areas of concern arising out of the nature of the industry, structure of the market or policy induced. These can be addressed more efficiently by sensitising and encouraging self-corrective steps through advocacy initiatives," Gupta said.

Further, he noted that for any law to be effective, enforcement actions provide the desired deterrence.

"I thus consider these channels to be complementary for ensuring compliance with the competition law. As the commission steps up efforts to curb anti-competitive practices, it will apply a judicious mix of these tools," he added.

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First Published on Oct 20, 2019 12:40 pm
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