Opinion | The competition law needs to be effective
To speed up the resolution of anti-trust cases, the government may allow quick settlements. The case backlog needs clearance, but any tweak of the law must also enhance its efficacy
News reports suggest that the government is planning to amend India’s competition law to speed up the resolution of anti-trust cases that various companies are embroiled in. Given the long delays and consequent business losses that adjudication processes often cause, any revision that saves time should be welcomed, prima facie. Specifically, the Centre is said to be mulling a “commitment and settlement" clause in the Competition Act. If it goes through, companies facing penal action by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for anti-competitive actions or practices will be allowed to reach a settlement by committing themselves to taking corrective action. This option will reportedly be available even in cases where a probe has already been done against a company accused of a violation. Settling such cases would enable companies to lower the uncertainty of prolonged trials and the risk of adverse CCI rulings, and get on with their jobs. The idea seems to be aimed at improving the ease of doing business in India.