The Government proposes Competition Law Amendment; Seeks to tighten the rules for Antitrust Examiny

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The proposed legislation may particularly impact global tech companies which do significant operations in India.

The government wants to strengthen rules regarding the oversight of acquisitions and mergers as part of the proposed law that will impact global tech companies which do significant operations in India. This proposal is part of a revision of India’s law on competition in a bill presented to Parliament on Friday. It could be approved as early in the next few days.

In the current law in the present law, CCI is a statutory body. Competition Commission of India, or CCI is the body that reviews mergers and acquisitions which exceed the thresholds for turnover or assets.

However, many deals of high value among technology companies that have significant presence in the US are not subject to scrutiny since the companies involved limited assets and a small turnover.

the Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion (roughly the equivalent of Rs. 1,50,900 crore) For instance, the acquisition did not require CCI approval, even though WhatsApp was included in India as an important market, as lawyers claim.

The draft law suggests that any deal worth more than $. 2 million are subject to antitrust oversight if firms have substantial activities within the country.

“The controversial deal value test is designed to draw attention to transactions that do not satisfy the standard thresholds for turnover and assets, especially in the tech sector,” said Anisha Chand the partner who specializes in antitrust law at the law company Khaitan & Co.


The government is seeking to strengthen rules regarding the oversight for mergers and acquisitions as part of the proposed law that will impact global tech companies which do significant transactions in India. This proposal is part of a revision of the country’s law on competition in a bill presented to Parliament on Friday. It could be approved as early like next week.

As per the law in force in the present law, CCI is a statutory body. Competition Commission of India, or CCI is the body that reviews mergers and acquisitions which exceed the thresholds for turnover or assets.

Many high-value transactions between tech companies with an extensive presence in the United States are not subject to scrutiny since the firms involved been unable to acquire assets or have a low turnover.

The Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion (roughly the equivalent of Rs. 1,50,900 crore) for instance, was not subject to CCI clearance, despite the fact that WhatsApp was included in India as an important market, as lawyers claim.

The law draft proposes that all transactions worth more than $. 2 million must be subject to antitrust oversight if firms have significant commercial operations within the country.

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“The highly debated deal value test aims to draw attention to transactions that do not satisfy the standard thresholds for turnover and assets, especially in the technology industry,” said Anisha Chand an associate specializing in antitrust law at the law company Khaitan & Co.

“If adopted in the current version, the amendment will likely lead to an increase in (the) amount of transactions, particularly in the emerging markets that will need prior approval,” she added.

The threshold for deal value review is conforming to antitrust rules within Germany and Austria as well as Austria, the public policy consulting business Koan Advisory said in a note released on Friday.

CCI did not respond to requests for comment. CCI has not responded to requests to comment.

The new regulations issued by the CCI will define the method to determine if an organization has “substantial commercial operations” within the country, as per the bill, which was in effect since August. 2.

As part of the overhaul of the law on competition the government has also proposed the reduction of the deadline for approval of mergers to 150 days instead of the current 210 days.

It also will also introduce a procedure to help entities seek an agreement with the CCI as the bill states.

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