Indian competition jurisprudence, while still a young area of law with only seven years since its inception, has made remarkable progress in developing the law qua its statutory bodies namely the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the appellate forum, the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT). A glance back at the year 2016 highlights that this has been the year of both change and continuity!
I. The CCI gets a new Chairperson, COMPAT bids adieu to its Chairman
In January 2016, a former Gujarat cadre IAS officer Mr. Devender Kumar Sikri took over as the successor to the second chairperson of the Competition Commission of India, Mr. Ashok Chawla, who demitted office. Mr. Sikri will serve a tenure of two and a half years from the date of appointment, till he attains the age of 65 years.
In December 2016, Justice G.S. Singhvi stepped down from the helm of the Tribunal after a brief but impactful two years. The new Chairman is yet to be appointed to the three member bench.
II. Cartel Enforcement
In 2012, the CCI imposed what was the largest cumulative fine in the Competition Act's brief history when it levied a INR 6300 crore (USD 923 million) fine on the 11 largest cement manufacturers in the country.1 After a lengthy appeal process, the COMPAT, in December 2015, set aside the fine and remanded the matter back to the CCI, on grounds of violation of principles of natural justice noting that although some of the Commission members were absent during the final arguments, they were nevertheless signatories to the final decision.2 Predictably perhaps, the outcome did not change. After arguments were re-heard, the CCI passed an order on 31 August 2016 confirming its original findings that the cement companies used the platform of the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) to fix prices and production quantities.3 For the second time, the watchdog imposed the penalty of INR 6300 crores on the cement manufacturers. For the second time, the COMPAT was presented with 11 appeals, which will be finally heard on merits in 2017.
Four public sector insurance companies4 also faced the music in 2016, when the COMPAT rejected their appeals against the order of the CCI imposing a fine of INR 671.05 crores (USD 98.4 million) for manipulating the bidding process initiated by state Government of Kerala for selecting an insurance provider for the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna for the years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.5 In their defence, the companies sought to rely on the doctrine of single economic entity arguing that they were all controlled by the same parent i.e. Government of India, through the Department of Financial Services. The provisions of the Act therefore could not apply to any agreement or arrangement between them. However, agreeing with the CCI, the appellate body demolished the claim holding that while the government may hold the entire shareholding of the companies, there was no de facto control in their business operations.6 However, the COMPAT did reduce the fine substantially, following its decisional practice of imposing fines only on the relevant turnover of the companies as opposed to their total turnover.
Trending relevant turnover standards
This year the COMPAT continued the trend it established in 2013 in the case of Excel Crop7 where it emphasized that penalties should be calculated taking into account the relevant turnover and not the total turnover of the companies. In addition to the Insurance Cos. case, in ECP Industries Ltd. v. Competition Commission of India,8 the COMPAT modified the Commission's order by quashing the penalty it imposed on the total turnover of various types of cylinders on the appellants since the relevant product was only 14.2 Kg. LPG cylinders. Similarly, in GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited v. Competition Commission of India,9 it clarified the definition of the word 'turnover' used in Section 27(b) and proviso thereto to mean the turnover of the relevant product and not the entire turnover of the enterprise.10
In the absence of prescribed guidelines like those in the EC, the COMPAT has set out unequivocal standards for defining relevant turnover. It also took the opportunity to lay down further relevant factors that the Commission is duty bound to consider while imposing penalty. In the matter of Hyderabad Cylinders Pvt. Ltd. v. Competition Commission of India11 the COMPAT opined that the Commission must consider all the relevant factors such as – nature and age of the industry, the nature of the goods manufactured, the availability of competitors in the market, and the financial health of the companies.
The Supreme Court is set to issue its final word on this issue as arguments on the appeal filed by Excel Crop were heard in October 2016 and the judgment is expected this year.
Individual Culpability & Due Process
The Competition Act adequately encompasses individuals' liability within its ambit in Section 48, which makes persons in charge of the business of the company as well as those directly found to be involved in the contravention liable to face fines. Till 2014 however, no penalties were ascribed to them.12 Since then, the issue of individual culpability and penalty has been enshrined in the CCI's governance. However, the CCI found itself at loggerheads with the COMPAT over the timing and manner in which this was to be done. In a series of decisions in mid-2016, the COMPAT set aside four orders of the CCI imposing penalties on individuals.
In A.N. Mohana Kurup & Anr. v. CCI & Ors.,13 the Tribunal held that the CCI does not have the power to pass a 'hybrid' order under Section 26(1) of the Act, directing the DG to investigate the company as well as the role of individuals. Per contra, if the role of individuals must be proceeded against under Section 48 of the Act, it can be done only after returning a finding that the company has violated the provisions of the Act. In Shib Shankar Nag Sarkar & Anr. v. CCI & Ors,14 the COMPAT set aside the penalty imposed on the appellants on the ground that the CCI violated the principles of natural justice as a copy of the entire DG's investigation report was not provided to the individuals and depriving them of an effective opportunity to contest the findings.15 In Kerela Film Exhibitors Federation & Ors. v. CCI & Ors.16, the COMPAT overturned the findings of the CCI on the ground that at no time during the DG's investigation were the individuals made aware that they may be proceeded against separately. Similarly, the CCI itself failed to give notice to the individuals prior to debarring them from participating in the affairs of the company.
The COMPAT has also taken a similar view in M/s Alkem Laboratories Ltd. v. CCI & Ors.,17 setting aside the penalty imposed upon the individuals on the basis of insufficient evidence and also noted that that the order of the CCI suffers from illegalities such as the failure of the DG to issue notice to the individuals, and failure to grant the individuals an opportunity to explain their position or conduct cross-examinations.
Things came to a head in a recent order in the Monsanto case.18 An application had been filed by Monsanto urging the Commission to recall that portion of its prima facie order that authorizes the DG to investigate the role of individuals in addition to that of the company. The CCI, while rejecting the application, and "with due reverence to the Hon'ble Tribunal" expressly disagreed with the COMPAT decisions and, referring to various High Court and Supreme Court decisions, held that the Tribunal's orders on this issue "cannot be taken as precedent".19
III. Abuse of Dominance
Monsanto's woes in India intensified in 2016. Exactly ten years after the first antitrust case was filed before the erstwhile MRTP Commission, Monsanto now faced the CCI in nine complaints filed by central and state bodies, as well as multiple sub-licencees of its controversial Bt cotton seed technology. The allegations revolved around unreasonably high royalties, and imposition of unfair conditions in the sub-license agreements. The CCI prima facie found Monsanto to be dominant in the upstream market for licensing of Bt cotton technology for which there were almost no substitutes, and ordered an investigation to be conducted.20
The question of dominance also arose in the matter of InPhase Power Technologies Private Limited v. ABB India Ltd21, where ABB India Ltd. was prima facie found to hold a dominant position in the market of 'Manufacture and Sale of Power Quality Compensators with IGBT technology for low voltage i.e. below 1000V in India'. Despite having a mere 32% market share. The pivotal factor for the CCI was that even with 32%, AAB held twice the market share of its next competitor.
Real estate remained an important sector for the CCI in 2016. After imposing a penalty of INR 630 crores (USD 9 million) on DLF, one of India's largest real estate developers for imposing unfair and arbitrary conditions on apartment buyers in the city of Gurgaon, another real estate developer, Jaiprakash Associates came into its crosshairs in 2016, this time regarding the region Noida and Greater Noida. Following a lengthy investigation starting in 2011, initiated on a complaint by an apartment buyer, the DG initially concluded that in the relevant market for 'the provision of services for development and sale of residential apartments in Noida and Greater Noida', Jaiprakash did not occupy a dominant position. However, unsatisfied with this definition, the CCI sent the matter back to the DG with instructions that the market of integrated townships in the region. In the Supplementary Report, the DG found the Jaiprakash was indeed dominant. As the clauses complained of were similar to those of DLF, the abuse was a foregone conclusion. Surprisingly, the CCI had a change of heart and defined the market as residential apartments and not integrated townships after all, and closed the matter.22 On appeal, the COMPAT, speaking through its order dated 28 September 2016, remanded the matter to the Commission for its failure to record reasons for disagreeing with the findings of the DG and putting the parties on notice thereof prior to its final order.23
Jaiprakash was made subject to two more investigations ordered in 2016. In both,24 the CCI held that prima facie it appeared that certain clauses in the application form for booking of apartments were unfair, onerous, one-sided and tilted favourably towards the opposite party (the company) and call for a detailed investigation. It appears unlikely the CCI's focus on the sector is likely to wane with DLF's appeal slated for final arguments before the Supreme Court.
Finally, on his last day in office on 9 December 2016, the former Chairman of the COMPAT, upheld the CCI's order in the Spare Parts case.25 The matter was initiated by way of a complaint filed by a car owner against three car manufacturers namely Toyota, Nissan, and Ford, in 2011 before the CCI. The investigation was broadened to 17 car manufacturers who were all found to have abused their dominance. While concurring with the findings of DG, the CCI stated that the relevant market in the instant matter was not that of sale of automobiles but the aftermarket of supply of genuine spare-parts and the availability of repair/maintenance services. Furthermore, since the spare-parts of a specific car are only made available by the specific car manufacturer, such manufacturer enjoys 100% dominance in the relevant aftermarket. Moreover, through restrictive covenants entered into with original parts supplier and its authorized dealers, the car manufacturers ensured that genuine spare parts were unavailable for use by independent repair shops.26 After 6 years, the COMPAT settled the issue in favour of the CCI on the appeals filed by three originally named companies. Several other manufacturers chose to approach the Delhi High Court against the order of the CCI, and a final judgment in those matters is still awaited.
Competition regulation in Internet Businesses
The advent of online aggregators backed by deep pockets have threatened the established order of things and led to several complaints being filed before the CCI by traditional market players, be it real estate brokers, cab operators, or physical retail outlets. In the case of Confederation of Real Estate Brokers' Association of India v. Magicbricks.com, & Ors.,27 the Competition Commission dismissed allegations that five real estate websites, including Housing.com and Magicbricks.com, abused their dominant position by putting in place a 'no brokerage policy' for realty deals or charged a much lower brokerage fee compared to the traditional fee of 2% of the sale/purchase value of a property while undertaking a real estate transaction or public auctioning of properties. This conduct was alleged to have eliminated traditional real estate brokers from the market. According to the watchdog, since no license is required to undertake the brokerage business in the real estate sector, there are a number of players operating, both through online and off-line channels. In the absence of dominance of any of the entities in the relevant market, the Commission closed the matter.
A similar understanding formed the basis of another Section 26(2) order of the CCI in Meru Travel Solutions Private Limited (MTSPL) v. Uber India Systems Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.28 In this case, Meru's averment against Uber was its dominance in the relevant market in so far as its incentive policy is not based upon any economically justified consideration, but solely to gain and maintain the fidelity of the taxi owners and to prevent passengers/customers from obtaining radio taxi services from other radio taxi services operators.29 Further, Meru alleged that Uber's loyalty inducing incentive schemes have or are likely to have an exclusionary effect in the relevant market to the detriment of other competitors.30 In addition to the payments to drivers, Uber is said to be offering huge discounts and benefits to its consumers which are difficult for similarly placed players to match.31 However, on 7 December 2016, the COMPAT reversed the CCI's order and directed the DG to investigate the matter32 on the grounds that relevant market was incorrectly defined by the CCI, in addition to fact that the size of discounts and incentives offered by Uber suggest either phenomenal efficiency improvements replacing existing business models with the new business models or the possibility of an anti-competitive stance to it.
IV. Mergers & Acquisitions
Welcoming Amendments to Combination Regulations
The sixth set of amendments to the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (Combination Regulations), came into effect on 8 January 2016. The major highlights were:
- The 'investment only' exemption provided under Item 1 of Schedule I to the Combination Regulations, was explained to apply to an acquisition of less than 10% equity share capital or voting rights of the target enterprise and provided that (a) the acquirer would have the ability to exercise only such rights that are exercisable by the ordinary shareholders to the extent of their respective shareholding; and (b) the acquirer does not have the right to nominate a director on the board of the target nor intends to participate in the affairs or management of the target enterprise.
- The amendments have also done away with the 5% cap on creeping acquisitions between 25% and 50%, provided that it does not lead to the acquisition of sole or joint control.
In March 2016, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) issued notifications bringing about changes to the merger control regime in India. Some of the significant inclusions are as follows:
- De Minimis Exemption Enhanced: In 2011, the MCA had exempted from notification any transaction where the target enterprise had assets less than INR 250 crores (INR 2.5 billion/USD 36.7 million) or turnover less than INR 750 crores (INR 7.5 billion/USD 110 million), in India, for a period of 5 years. In 2016, the thresholds under this exemption were enhanced to INR 350 crores (INR 3.5 billion/USD 51.3 million) in assets and INR 1000 crores (INR 10 billion/USD 146.7 million) in turnover. The exemption is valid till 4 March 2021.
- The substantive jurisdictional
thresholds in Act were also increased. As a result the current
thresholds are twice those at the time the Act was passed in 2002.
The current thresholds are:
Turnover Enterprise Level India >2000 INR crore (USD 293.4 million) >6000 crore (USD 880 million) Worldwide with India leg >USD 1 bn with at least
>1000 INR crore (USD 146.7 million) in India
>USD 3 bn with at least
>3000 INR crore (USD 440 million) in India
OR Group Level India >8000 INR crore (USD 1.17 billion)
>24000 crore Worldwide with India leg >USD 4 bn with at least
>1000 INR crore (USD 146.7 million) in India
>USD 12 bn with at least
>3000 INR crore (USD 440 million) in India
Notable M&A Transactions
Holcim's long drawn out takeover of Lafarge continued in 2016. After obtaining CCI's clearance on March 30, 2015, subject to divestments of two plants in the North Eastern region, the parties were unable to execute the divestment due to regulatory issues involved in transferring of the mining lease and mineral rights. They therefore proposed that they would sell their entire shareholding in Lafarge India to a suitable third party, which was accepted by the Commission.33 Dalmia Cements then threw a spanner in works by challenging the approval of the revised proposal before the COMPAT on the ground that CCI lacked the power to approve a merger for a second time when the terms of the first approval had not been complied with.
After hearing the initial arguments made by Dalmia, the COMPAT, on April 13, stayed the approval. However, the question of law was never decided as in a sudden turn of events, the appeal was withdrawn by Dalmia. The dismissal of the appeal finally cleared the path for the Larfarge-Holcim merger as per the February 2016 CCI order.
Another significant order was passed by the CCI in May 2016, in relation to PVR's acquisition of DT Cinema's multiplexes/single screen theatres in regions in and around Delhi, and Chandigarh.34 After nine months, the CCI finally approved the proposed combination with divestments and several commitments extracted from the parties. PVR was directed to carve out 7 screens in the South Delhi region, undertake to not acquire any new screens for three years in Noida, as well as Gurgaon, and for five years in South Delhi.
This marked the third time that CCI undertook a Phase II investigation in a merger case, the earlier ones being Sun Pharma/Ranbaxy and Holcim/Lafarge.
2016 also witnessed numerous orders by the CCI levying penalties on merging parties for gun-jumping, the term used to denote consummation of the transaction prior to approval. Through the following spate of orders passed by the CCI in 2016, it can be inferred that even though the CCI is giving strict interpretation to the said provision, it has invoked excessive discretion in deciding the percentage of penalty to be levied.
In Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL)35, the CCI imposed a penalty of INR 50 Million (USD 736,372) on PEL for gun jumping rejecting the argument that the investment only exemption was unavailable in relation to its acquisition of 9.96% in Shriram Transport Finance Company, 20% equity stake in Shriram Capital Limited and 9.99% stake in Shriram City Union Finance Limited. The CCI opined that "each of the three acquisitions by PEL in the Shriram group of companies were inter-connected and were made strategically to enter into a partnership with and to acquire (joint) control over the financial services business of the Shriram group of companies.36 Although the maximum statutory fine is 1% of the combined worldwide turnover or assets of the parties (in this case .....), the CCI imposed a penalty of only INR 5 Crore (USD 800,000) i.e. approximately 0.005% of the combined assets of the combination. This two year period is the first definitive time frame that the CCI has upheld when dealing with interconnected deals.
Similarly, in GE's acquisition of the power grid business of Alstom, the Commission considered it appropriate to impose a penalty of INR 5 crores (USD 800,000) on GE, (approximately 0.0001 per cent of the combined value of worldwide assets of the parties) for failing to notify the Commission at the time it issued a public announcement mandated under the Securities Takeover Regulations to the shareholders of the Indian subsidiaries of Alstom.37 The CCI clarified that the meaning of the term 'other document' used in sub-section (2) of Section 6 of the Act to subsume documents which convey an intent of the acquirers to consummate the transaction and would include inter alia unilateral communications such as a public announcement made under Takeover Regulations and/or unilateral board resolutions such as in case of hostile acquisitions.38
In the Hindustan Colas Case39 a minor sum was paid to the target on the date of signing of the share purchase agreement (SPA), which was either refundable in case the CCI approval was not obtained, or set off against the total consideration on closing, after approval. The CCI considered the pre-payment to be tantamount to part-consummation of the deal prior to approval as "pre-payment of price (whether refundable/nonrefundable) may have a number of competition distorting effects viz., (i) it may lead to a strategic advantage for the Acquirer; (ii) it may reduce the incentive and will of 'target' to compete; and (iii) it may become a reason/basis to access the confidential information of the 'target'. On an overall basis, it may be said that pre-payment of consideration may have the impact of creating a tacit collusion which may cause an adverse effect on competition even before consummation of the combination." The CCI then went a step further and appeared to suggest that even if the money were kept in escrow rather than having been given to the target directly, it may still amount to gun-jumping!
V. IP Rights & Conflict of Jurisdictions
The much awaited judgment of Ericsson v CCI41 was delivered on March 30, 2016 by a single judge of the Delhi High Court. The judgment seeks to address the interplay between the Patents Act and the Competition Act. In this case, the Court upheld the order passed by the CCI directing an investigation into the allegations of abuse of dominance against Ericsson with respect to its actions as a holder of Standard Essential Patents. The informant, a prominent smartphone seller, Micromax, alleged that Ericsson had abused its dominant position in the market for GSM technology by demanding excessive royalty rates based on the sale value of the entire phone instead of the value of the patented technology used in the phone. The foremost objection raised by Ericsson was the lack of jurisdiction of CCI because the issue of abuse of patent rights must be resolved by the authorities under the Patents Act, and an infringement suit filed by Ericsson was already pending before court. The High Court disagreed, holding that the Patent Act provides the remedy of compulsory licensing for abuse of patents i.e. a remedy in personam, while Section 27 of the Competition Act provides various remedies that include levying penalties, cease and desist orders, that were remedies in rem. Based on this analysis the court concluded that there was no irreconcilable inconsistency between both regimes and the CCI could exercise jurisdiction even though there was a pending civil suit for infringement.
VI. What to look out for in 2017
2016 saw a number of enforcement actions being initiated but notably lacked in final orders, particularly in cartel matters, which is the primary focus of any competition authority. The CCI is likely to make up for this in 2017 with a number of investigations nearing finality, including one relating to India's five largest tyre manufacturers, which has notably been reported in the press. 2016 saw the second dawn raid conducted by the CCI against certain battery manufacturers, following the first in 2014 against JCB, which is currently under challenge before the Supreme Court on a number of jurisdictional and procedural grounds. The coming year will also likely see the CCI grapple with mega mergers in the likes of Dow/DuPont, ChemChina/Syngeta and Bayer/Monsanto deals.
1. Builders Association of India v. Cement Manufacturers Association & Ors., Case No 29/2010, Order dated 20 June 2012.
2. Cement Manufacturers Association v. Competition Commission of India & Ors., Appeal No. 103/2012,Order dated 11 December 2015.
3. Covered under Section 3(3)(a) & (b) of the Competition Act.
4. The four were National Insurance Co. Ltd., New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., and United India Insurance Co. Ltd.; See judgment of M/S National Insurance Company Ltd. V. Competition Commission of India, Appeal No. 94/2015, Order dated 9 December 2016.
5. Section 3(1) read with Section 3(3)(d) of the Act.
6. Order dated 09.12.2016 in Appeal Nos. 94/2015, 95/2015, 96/2015, 97/2015.
7. Excel Crop Care Limited vs. Competition Commission of India order dated 29 October 2013 Appeal No. 79/2012.
8. Order dated 1 March 2016, Appeal No. 47/2014.
9. See order dated 8 November 2016, Appeal No. 85/2015.
10. Paragraph 57-58, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited v. Competition Commission of India Order dated 8 November 2016 Appeal No. 85/2015.
11.See order dated 2 May 2016, Appeal No. 54/2015 IA No. 76/2016, IA No. 91/2015, IA No. 92/2015, IA No. 93/2015
12. In Re: Bengal Chemist and Druggist Association and Ref. Case No. 1/2013, Order dated 11 March 2014.
13. Appeal No. 05/2016, Order dated 10.05.2016.
14. Appeal No. 34/2014, Order dated 10.05.2016.
15. The COMPAT also rejected CCI's attempt to interpret the provisions of Section 27 of the Act as conferring upon it the authority to penalize individuals. The COMPAT categorically observed that Section 27 of the Act does not deal with role of individual office-bearers and that if the ingredients of Section 48 of the Act are not satisfied, the CCI cannot fall back upon Section 27 to justify imposition of penalty on office-bearers.
16. See order dated 19.04.2016 in Appeal No. 99/2015.
17. See order dated 10.05.2016 in Appeal No. 09/2016.
18. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare), Government of India & Ors. v. Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Limited & Ors.; Case No. 02/2015 and Ors., Order dated 26 June 2016.
19. Ibid., para 31.
20. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare Government of India & Ors. v. Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Limited & Ors., Ref. Case No.2/2015, Case No. 107/2015, Order dated 10 February 2016.
21. InPhase Power Technologies Private Limited V. ABB India Ltd, Order dated 9 June 2016, Case No. 12/2016.
22. Order dated 26 October 2015 in Case No. 72/2011.
23. See order dated 28 September 2016 in Appeal No. 21/2016.
24. Shri Dharam Vir and Shri Aditya Umang Vir Vs Jaiprakash Associates Limited, Order dated 14 September 2016, Case No. 8/2015; Shri Vivek Chandra Vs Jaiprakash Associates Limited, Order dated 14 September 2016, Case No. 62/2015.
25. See Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited and Ors. v. Competition Commission of India and Ors., Order dated 9 December 2016, Appeal No. 60, 61 & 62 of 2014.
26. Shri Shamsher Kataria v. Honda Siel Cars & Ors, Case No. 3/2011, Order dated 27 July 2015.
27. Case No. 23/2016, order dated 03.05.2016.
28. Case No. 96/2015, order dated 10.02.2016.
29. Abuse of dominant position by an enterprise or group which limits or restricts production of goods or provision of services or market :Section 4(2)(b)(i) of the Act.
30. Abuse of dominant position by an enterprise or group which indulges in practices resulting in denial of market access: Section 4(2)(c).
31. Predatory pricing is enunciated in Section 4(2)(a)(ii) of the Act.
32. See order dated 7 December 2016, in Appeal No. 31/2016.
33. Combination Registration No. C-2014/07/190, Order dated 7 September 2016.
34. Combination Registration No. C-2015-07-288, Order dated 4 May 2016, passed by the CCI under Section 31(7) of the Act.
35.Combination Registration No. C-2015/02/249, dated 2 May 2016.
36. This holding was buttressed by the principle enunciated in the European Commission's Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52008XC0416(08)
37. Combination Registration No. C-2015/01/241, order dated 16.02.2016
38. The Regulations were subsequently modified in vide a Notification (published in the Gazette of India) on January 08, 2016 and published the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to 1 combinations) Amendment Regulation, 2016, but the requirement to notify the Commission on a public announcement being made under the Takeover Code remains.
39. Combination Registration No. C-2015/08/299, order dated 14 September 2016.
41. WP(C) 464/2014 & CM Nos 911/2014 & 915/2014.
Abdullah Hussain is a Partner with the Competition Law Practice Group of the Firm with over 13 years of experience. Abdul represents clients in all spheres of competition laws before the CCI and appellate courts. Abdul has acted for clients across numerous sectors including construction equipment, cement, glass, rubber, real estate, aviation, pharmaceuticals, telecom, auto parts, automobiles, e-commerce, paper, media, shipping, IT, biotechnology, agriculture, mutual funds, and private equity investments.
He is currently representing JCB before the CCI and the Supreme Court; Bayer in its acquisition of Monsanto; and Jaiprakash Associates in the cement cartel proceedings before the Appellate Tribunal.
He is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars including the Competition Roundtable at the Canadian High Commission, the India-United State Cross Border Investment conference, and the 3rd International Competition Law Conference in November 2016. He can be reached at email@example.com
Rishika Taneja is an Associate, Competition Law Practice Group at Luthra and Luthra Law Offices, New Delhi. A 2015 graduate from Amity Law School Delhi, G.G.S.I.P. University, she was a Dr. Ambriti Salve Scholar at the University of Oxford where she completed her Bachelors in Civil Law. She co-authored a book titled Privacy Law: Principles, Injunctions and Compensation in 2014; and has previous internship experience with Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General of India, and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in Washington D.C, United States of America, among others. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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