CCI Update : Combination Regulations Amended

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has vide notification F. No. CCI/CD/Amend/Comb. Regl./2014 dated 28th March, 2014 made The Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Amendment Regulations, 2014 to amend the existing CCI (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011.

Following are the highlights of the amendments made to the Combination Regulations:
      1. Sub-regulation 5 has been added to Regulation 9 that seeks to cover combination transactions that are structured in such a manner so as to avoid the requirement of notice under Regulation 5 in respect of the whole or a part of the combination. It has been clarified that the filing of notice under Regulation 5 shall therefore be determined with respect to the substance of the transaction.
          2. Amendment in regulation 11 has been made which has increased the statutory fee of filing notice in Form I from Rs. 10,00,000 to Rs. 15,00,000 and of Form II from Rs. 40,00,000 to Rs. 50,00,000.
              3. Regulation 14(3) has been amended to clarify the power of CCI to ask the applicant to amend the information provided in the notice and any response filed pursuant to Combination Regulations. Although the CCI has practically been following the practice of requiring amendment to any responses filed pursuant to Regulation 14(3), the amendment only clarifies such power of CCI.
                  4. Regulation 29 has been omitted. Regulation 29 appeared to qualify the right to file appeal to the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) and restrict such right only to the parties to the combination. However, Regulation 29 was always subject to the provisions of section 53B of the Competition Act, 2002 which allows any person aggrieved by any direction, decision or order of the CCI to file appeal to COMPAT. Therefore, Regulation 29 was although redundant, it only left scope for potential hindrance to the right of a person under section 53B.
                      5. Category 10 in Schedule I has been omitted, which was an exception to filing of notice if a combination took entirely outside India and had insignificant local nexus and effect on the markets in India. Therefore the parties to the combination are falling under the threshold limits of assets or turnover as prescribed under Section 5 of the Act, the notice has to be now mandatorily filed with CCI, even if the Combination is taking place entirely outside India.
                          6. A certain changes in Form I and Form II to require certain additional information have been made.
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