Don’t have enough teeth to deal with cartel cases: CCI member

Press Trust of India, January 13, 2017

Observing that cases involving cartels are extremely difficult to catch and punish, CCI member Augustine Peter today said competition law does not have enough teeth to deal with such matters.

“In many cases, collective dominance come but we don’t have teeth… we don’t have provisions. This was proposed in parliamentary committee and the committee also recommended but unfortunately the government changed…”, he said in a panel discussion on Politics of Competition Reforms in India here.

Without getting into specific details about the issues being faced, he said competition law does not address the entire problem of collective dominance. Competition Commission of India (CCI) keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors. According to Peter, it is “extremely difficult” to catch violators in cases of cartels.

Regarding public sector procurement cases, he said there is always a kind of reluctance thinking that public sector entities “cannot do anything wrong… (that) they are public sector (and) are meant for serving public purpose. Something has to be done in that regard”.

“Public sector gets favourite treatment … when policy making is done by the government they always keep public sector belongs to us so you have to set standards fitting in with them,” he noted. The panel discussion organised by non-profit group CUTS International.

Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) Member Rajeev Kher and OECD Competition Committee Chairman Frederic Jenny, among others, were also present. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a Paris-based think tank.

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