The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Amendment Act) introduced Section 48A and Section 48B to bring in settlements and commitments in India. The Amendment Act provided broad contours of the regime, and on 23 August 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) published draft settlements and commitments regulations which provide clarity on operational implementation of the regime. The draft regulations are open for comments from stakeholders till 13 September 2023. We bring to you a quick summary of the key takeaways of the draft regulations.
As a quick reminder, under the Amendment Act:
Settlements and commitments can only be offered in relation to an inquiry for anticompetitive vertical agreements (Section 3(4) of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act)) and abuse of dominance (Section 4 of the Act).
Settlements can be offered after the receipt of the investigation report from the Director General (DG Report).
Commitments can be offered after CCI’s order directing an investigation but prior to the receipt of the DG Report.
No appeal shall lie against an order passed by CCI under Section 48A and 48B of the Amended Act.
If an applicant fails to comply with CCI’s order under Section 48A and 48B of the Amended Act, or fails to make full and true disclosure, or there is a material change in the facts, the order as passed under Section 48A and 48B of the Amended Act may be revoked or withdrawn and the initial inquiry may be restored or initiated by the CCI.