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India Increases Penalty Limits For Competition Regulator

 |  April 27, 2023

Recent amendments to India’s antitrust laws grant the regulator greater authority to levy larger fines and mandate companies to pay a portion of the fees before appealing an order, leading some analysts to interpret the changes as indicative of protectionism.

The Parliament has approved allowing the Competition Commission of India to impose penalties for anti-competitive behavior and abuse of dominance based on a firm’s global turnover, replacing the previous penalty of up to 10% on the turnover of affected Indian businesses. Additionally, any party contesting a CCI order must pay a 25% deposit of the penalty.

Read more: India Competition Regulator Fines Google

The provision may result in greater penalties for global companies, including revenue from products and services not covered under anti-competitive conduct. Avaantika Kakkar, partner and head of the competition practice at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, a law firm based in Mumbai, notes that this provision challenges the proportionality principle upheld by the Supreme Court and may be subject to judicial review.

According to Nisha Kaur Uberoi, partner and national competition head at Trilegal in Mumbai, the deposit requirement for appealing against penalties imposed by CCI could be challenging for firms due to the high amount of penalties and delays in the judicial process.