Anti Competitive Agreement Cases

Competition in a market may be limited to types other than those mentioned above. For example, there may be other types of agreements between competitors, such as pricing policies or recommendations, joint buying or selling, the establishment of technical or design standards, and an agreement for the exchange of business information. CCCS will act in cases where competition is appreciably affected, i.e. where competition is seriously affected. In the case of a pricing policy or recommendation, CCCS has found that recommended rates and pricing policies, whether mandatory or voluntary, are generally detrimental to competition and encourages all companies to set their prices independently. Before we look at the assertions of the parties and the decisions, it is important to understand the relevant legal framework in the event of a case. An “agreement” is defined in 2 (b) as a common agreement, agreement or act. Under section 2 (l), “person” includes, among others, individuals, associations of persons, whether registered or not, a legal person or a business, etc. Section 3 imposes an embargo on a person, undertaking or its respective associations to enter into agreements on the production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or the provision of services; which will or are likely to appreciably affect competition in India. Specifically, Article 3(1) prohibits anti-competitive agreements which are considered inconclusive under Article 3(2). Point (b) of Section 3(3) provides that any agreement limiting or controlling the production, supply, market, technical development, investment or provision of services shall be anti-competitive. Section 19(1) allows the ICC to examine such agreements on the basis of the factors referred to in point 19(3), which are, inter alia, agreements that create barriers to new entrants or exclude competition by creating barriers to market entry. Article 19(6) lists the factors for determining the relevant geographic market, while Section 19(7) lists the factors for determining the relevant product market.

Anti-competitive agreements would be a particularly serious type of anti-competitive agreement. Agreements are generally aimed at determining prices, manipulating tenders, allocating markets or limiting production. As a result, cartels have little or no incentive to lower prices or offer better quality goods or services. According to economic studies, cartels are on average 30 percent higher. There are four main types of cartels: it is possible that the effects of this judgment may weigh on the ICC in defining the relevant market in the investigations referred to in Section 3, in particular if the explicit language of the law is silent. Since such a provision contains an element of subjectivity, any person, undertaking or association whose conduct or agreements are found to be anti-competitive would find the possibility of challenging a precise definition of the market or proposing an alternative. This in turn may delay the functioning of CCI, as the determination of a relevant market is a complex economic exercise. Dowling v Dalgety Australia Ltd (1992) 34 FCR 109 Substantial leath in competition; Objective 4.3 Analysis: Over the years, CCI has consistently found that there is no need to define a relevant market for the analysis referred to in point 3.

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