India seeks antitrust influence on global mergers and acquisitions

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India is a key overseas market for several global tech giants including Meta and Google. Now the South Asian nation is gearing up to have its voice heard in global M&A deals.

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New Delhi has proposed amendments to its Competition Act 2002 to introduce a number of changes, including requiring local supervisory authority (Competition Commission of India) clearance for all overseas transactions in excess of $252 million for firms with a “significant commercial activities in India. ”

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India, the second largest internet market in the world, attracted investments worth tens of billions of dollars from Meta, Google and Amazon, as well as venture capitalists including SoftBank, Sequoia and Tiger Global, have traditionally scrutinized deals based on asset size rather than deal value. According to law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, the Indian regulator has approved more than 700 seals in the last decade alone.

But it seems that something is changing and attempts are being made to equalize the position of India with the position of China, the United States and Europe.

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“The past decade has seen significant growth in the Indian markets and a paradigm shift in how businesses operate. In view of the economic development, the emergence of various business models and the experience gained during the work of the Commission, the Government of India has established a Competition Law Review Committee to study and propose changes to the said law.” bill published on Friday afternoon said.

The Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 proposes the following changes:

(a) changes to certain definitions, such as “undertaking”, “relevant product market”, “Group”, “Control”, etc., for the sake of clarity;
(b) expanding the scope of anti-competitive agreements to include in such agreements a party facilitating the conclusion of an anti-competitive horizontal agreement;
(c) provisions for reducing the period for approval of combinations from two hundred and ten days to one hundred and fifty days and for the formation by the Commission within twenty days of a prima facie opinion for expedited approval of combinations;
(d) provisions on “transaction value” as another criterion for notifying the Commission of mergers;
(e) a statute of limitations of three years for reporting anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance to the Commission;
(f) the appointment of the Director General by the Commission with the prior approval of the Central Government;
(g) the introduction of a system of payments and obligations to reduce the number of litigations;
(h) encouraging parties to an ongoing cartel investigation in terms of lesser penalties for disclosing information about other cartels;
(i) replacing a provision which provides for a fine of up to one crore of rupees or imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or both, in the event of a violation of any judgment of the Court of Appeal under the National Companies Act, by a contempt of court provision;
(j) issuing instructions, including on penalties imposed by the Commission.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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