Need market-specific approach to implement complex laws, says CCI

Emphasising that market structure and shares do not provide a complete picture of competition, especially in new-age markets, CCI chief Ashok Kumar Gupta on Friday said application of complex economic legislations can be effective only when it is “nuanced and appropriately accounts for market specificity”.

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CCI | Markets | Competition Commission of India

Emphasising that market structure and shares do not provide a complete picture of competition, especially in new-age markets, CCI chief Ashok Kumar Gupta on Friday said application of complex economic legislations can be effective only when it is “nuanced and appropriately accounts for market specificity”.

Acknowledging that at times, there can be a tension between a rule-based approach that ensures legal certainty and a case-by-case approach that factors in economic principles, Gupta said competition authorities have a vital role to play in ensuring optimal regulation that protects consumers while allowing competition to flourish.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been making various efforts to boost competition in the marketplace and is closely looking at developments in the digital market, among other areas.

“Market structure and market shares do not provide a complete picture of competition given the inherently dynamic nature of markets, especially in new-age markets, it becomes increasingly important that the Commission engages pro-actively… Application of complex economic legislations can only be effective when it is nuanced and appropriately accounts for market specificity,” Gupta said.

Speaking virtually at the National Conference on Economics of Competition Law, he said the learnings from market studies allow the regulator to appreciate various strategic interactions in markets.

Both enforcement and advocacy have to account for the level of evolution of markets in India in comparison to developed economies, he noted.

Further, Gupta said the government is in the process of introducing several reforms to address issues in the digital space. “CCI has been providing its inputs from time to time while framing the policies from the competition law perspective to ensure that competition principles are embedded ex-ante in the policy toolkit,” he added.

Neelkanth Mishra, Member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, said that the unique feature of “intangible-heavy industries” could also result in anti-competitive behaviour.

Mishra also wondered whether one should wait for market competition and technological evolution to address the problems of market competition as he delved into various aspects related to competition.

“Some considerations need deep-rooted re-assessment, some solutions may require global collaboration and coordination. One must also be cautious in not overreacting… for competition regulators, the unique feature of intangible heavy industries means that significant scale and anti-competitive behaviour can also arise very quickly,” he pointed out.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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