CCI recovered just Rs95 crore of Rs13,981 crore fines in five years: report
Low rate of recovery because of appeals filed by the parties or companies before the Competition Appellate Tribunal, high courts and the Supreme Court
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties worth Rs13,981 crore in the past five years in 92 cases, but managed to realize only Rs95 crore, according to the annual report for 2015-16 published on its website.
This was because of appeals filed by the parties or companies before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat), high courts and the Supreme Court, the report said.
The antitrust regulator has been functional since 20 May 2009 and is tasked with the job of ensuring fair competition in the market.
Of CCI’s 632 orders on anti-competitive practices in since 2009, 30% have been appealed before Compat.
CCI delivered a total of 130 orders in 2015-16 out of which there were appeals made to the Compat against 34. It imposed penalties worth Rs1,502 crore in this period.
An example of this would be the cement cartelization case. Compat set aside the CCI order in December 2015. The cement case—with a penalty of over Rs6,000 crore—relates to allegations of cartelization against several cement firms for price fixing, and affecting production, supply and sale of cement.
The real estate sector has recorded the maximum number of cases in terms of allegations of antitrust conduct since 2009. In a landmark case in the real estate sector, a Rs630 crore penalty was imposed by CCI on DLF Ltd for alleged unfair business practices.
The financial sector, entertainment, pharmaceuticals and automobiles industries are other prominent sectors with high incidence of alleged anti-competitive activity.
2015-16 also brought certain important decisions for CCI, chairperson Devender K. Sikri said in a note in the report.
“The Compat has, while disposing of various matters, laid down the standards of principles of natural justice to be adhered to as well as the kind of evidence required for a finding of guilt. In another landmark decision, the high court of Delhi held that the Commission has the jurisdiction to investigate into abuse of dominance issues relating to licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEP),” he added.
Aside from aspects of anti-competitive practices, the Commission is required to analyse mergers and acquisitions to see if it affects the market negatively.
The Commission received 113 notices of proposed combinations in 2015-16. It approved 107 combinations, with 85 of these accepted in less than 30 days. The financial sector recorded the highest number with 25 combinations notices. The pharmaceuticals and the information technology and services are the other prominent sectors.
CCI chaired by Sikri, who was appointed in January this year, held 141 ordinary meetings and 34 special meetings during the year, to discuss matters with regard to its functioning, administration and other issues on investigation reports submitted by the director general.