Objective of the Summer Master Class
CIRC is a premier research and capacity building institute focussing on economic regulation and competition policy and law. It has been promoting and spreading awareness on Competition Law and its scope since the very inception of the institution. In pursuance of this objective, CIRC conceptualized a 2-day course on “Competition Law & Practice in India” to be held biannually in summer and winter. After the huge success of its earlier courses and workshops, CIRC successfully delivered two days Summer Course from 26th June to 27th June 2015 at New Delhi.
Methodology and Course Content
The course was designed to give participants a thorough understanding of the Competition Law of India with related case studies to understand the practical implications of the law in practice (see Annexure for detailed Agenda). The faculty comprised of the representatives from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), premier law firms of the country and CIRC with participants from different disciplines such as law, economics, commerce and management & professionals such as lawyers, economists, and researchers. The course relied on sustained exposure and interactions of the participants with members of faculty with a view to allowing participants the full advantage of rich theoretical and practical knowledge.
The course comprised of classroom lectures of 1 hour 30 minutes each – arranged thematically beginning with introductions to the specific provisions of the Competition Act, discussing the underlying theory and its practice and culminating with discussions on decided cases. Each session was followed by an open-house Q&A session. To assess the attentiveness and comprehension of students in each session, a Multiple Choice Quiz by the lecturer at the end of each lecture was also conducted. The Summer Course ended with a Panel Discussion and distribution of certificates.
Day I Session I
The first session on Day 1 was delivered by Mr. Saket Sharma, Associate Fellow, CIRC spanning the need and evolution of Competition/Anti-trust policy and laws for regulating anti-competitive practices in the market. He discussed in detail the features of Competition Act 2002 simultaneously comparing it with the previous MRTP Act. Explaining the powers and functions of the Competition Commission Mr. Sharma supported the whole session with numerous cases, Brahmdutt v. Union of India, CCI v. SAIL, Coal India Case being the most prominent ones. He also briefed the participants on the relation between the Competition Commission and Competition Appellate Tribunal, and Amendments to the Competition Act 2002. The session ended with a Q/ Ans session followed by a short tea break.
Day I Session II
The second session on the regulation of anti-competitive agreements was delivered by Mr K.K Sharma, Head K.K. Sharma Law Offices, Delhi. He gave a case laws oriented presentation for explaining in detail the concepts of Horizontal and Vertical Agreements and how they are detected and regulated by the Commission. Anti-competitive concerns in Pharma Patent Sector and the assessment of Appreciable adverse effect were two dominating and most interacting topics. Cartel cases and bid-rigging cases were discussed with the technicalities of ‘standard of proof’ and ‘burden of proof’ in these cases and application of ‘Per Se’ vis-a-vis ‘Rule of Reason’ approaches.
Day I Session III
The third session on controlling abuse of dominance was delivered by Mr Saket Sharma, Associate Fellow, CIRC covering from basics of determining relevant market, assessing dominance and its abuse; he discussed the regulation of abuse of dominance in India giving a comparative overview of the regulatory framework in the US and EU. The nuances in DLF Case were discussed elaborately w.r.t abuse of dominance cases in the real estate sector. The session was followed by an interactive session of Q/Ans.
Day II Session I
The first session, on the second day of the Summer Course, was delivered by Mr Saket Sharma, Associate Fellow, CIRC; on Case analysis of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance. Under the head anti-competitive agreement case laws Mr Sharma acquainted the participants with numerous cases pertaining to cartels and bid-riggings. Case taken up as a subject of analysis was the International Vitamins Cartel. Leniency programme models were discussed with cases and examples from Pakistan model. Under the head of Abuse of Dominance case laws, Mr Sharma discussed LPG Cylinder case, Ideal Industrial Explosive Ltd. case and Pharma distributors’ case. The case study discussion being held on the Coal India Case series was followed by a short tea break.
Day II Session II
The second session for the day II on the regulation of combinations under competition law was dealt with by Mr. Vijay Singh, Head School of Corporate Law, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs. Mr Singh discussed with case laws the regulatory framework in India for combinations. He differentiated between mergers and amalgamations explaining the different types of mergers and possibilities of anti-competitive combinations through them. During the interaction Holcim-Lafarge, Jet – Etihad and Sun-Ranbaxy were prime cases that were taken care of. Mr Singh detailed the threshold limits and exemptions set out by the Competition Act for the regulation of combinations by the commission. The session was followed by an MCQs session by the speaker to the participants and then a lunch break.
Day II Session III
The third session of the Second day of the summer workshop was an interactive discussion between the participants and the speaker Mr Vijay Singh on contemporary issues in competition law in India. Mr Singh covered two main heads being IP law and Competition Law interface and challenges faced by CCI due to the overlapping of functions with sectoral regulators. Recent cases and issues present and forthcoming before the Competition Commission were discussed along