CCI Notifies Commitment And Settlement Regulations

CCI Notifies Commitment And Settlement Regulations

As a part of the 2023 amendments to the act, a provision for filing a commitment application was introduced so that any entity against whom an investigation for anti-competitive conduct has been initiated can offer commitments to address the competition concerns.

Under the regulations, any entity that has been accused of anti-competitive behaviour and is the subject of an investigation can submit an application to the CCI containing information about their commitments and how they will deal with the alleged violations and competition concerns.

The application must also include details of the nature, gravity and impact of the alleged contraventions, and the duration of the enterprise’s involvement in the alleged contraventions.

These regulations will not cover cartels and will only be available for anti-competitive vertical agreements and abuse of dominance cases.

A commitment application must be filed within 45 days of the CCI launching an investigation into the matter. This deadline, however, can be extended up to an additional 30 days if sufficient cause for delay can be shown.

The regulations envisage the submission of an application, the CCI’s consideration of the application, and the subsequent communication of whether or not the CCI is satisfied. Thereafter, the applicant must file a revised application, which may or may not be accepted.

While considering the commitments offered, the regulator is required to provide an opportunity to all the stakeholders such as the Director-General, the party concerned or any other party to submit their objections or comments within 21 days after the submission of the application.

The order passed by the commission with respect to the commitments offered will be final and binding upon the applicant.

It must be noted that the commission also has the power to revoke its commitment order if it finds out that the applicant has failed to comply with its directions or has not disclosed the facts truly and fully.

Finally, once the commission revokes or withdraws an order, the regulator will be permitted to use the information provided by a commitment applicant against it.

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