The Competition Commission of India’s (CCI’s) priority is to ensure that market outcomes in the digital sector are driven by market forces and not by anti-competitive strategies of a small cohort of players, acting Chairperson Sangeeta Verma said on Friday.
She said large technology firms were often themselves the ecosystem operators. “They have a large presence across verticals which allows them to leverage their market power in one vertical to another and extend their dominance into adjacent markets.”
But the commission has been watching the digital space, she said, to ensure that enterprises grow and innovate and build their businesses harnessing the power of technology without having to face strategic entry barriers. Verma was speaking at a session about the importance of competition law for industry, organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
On cartels – that have traditionally impaired fair competition – Verma said, the commission had an assertive enforcement agenda. Cartelised markets don’t allow honest businesses to operate on a level playing field, she said. Mergers & acquisitions were now an essential tool for growth and to achieve scale in the global marketplace, the acting CCI chairperson said. And a slew of industry-friendly measures had been adopted by the CCI to ensure speedy clearance.
In August 2019, the commission introduced a ‘green channel’ route of approval for transactions. “This was a first-of-its-kind trust-based system,” Verma said.
And it had gradually picked up. About 25 per cent of total mergers & acquisitions filings are through the ‘green channel’ route and it was also part of the Competition Act of 2023.