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India’s Antitrust Body Appoints Ansuman Pattnaik to Lead Investigations Unit

 |  December 21, 2023

India’s Competition Commission has appointed Ansuman Pattnaik as the new head of its investigations unit, succeeding Atul Verma, whose term concluded in November. Pattnaik, a seasoned government official with 28 years of experience, previously oversaw investigations into tech giant Alphabet Inc’s Google and global beer companies during his tenure with the Commission from 2014 to 2019.

Pattnaik brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having worked in various positions within the Indian government. His previous stint at the Competition Commission was marked by overseeing high-profile investigations, including probes into Google for alleged abuse of market power and international beer firms for suspected price collusion.

The incoming head of the investigations unit has spent the past few years with India’s income tax department since 2019. Pattnaik is set to assume his responsibilities at the Competition Commission in January, according to reliable sources.

The Competition Commission of India is currently engaged in investigating several global companies for potential antitrust violations. Notable names in ongoing investigations include e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart (owned by Walmart), tech behemoth Google, and liquor industry heavyweight Pernod Ricard.

Pattnaik’s appointment comes at a crucial juncture for the Commission, which is actively pursuing cases against major players in the market. His extensive background in overseeing investigations into abuse of dominant positions and price collusion, as reflected in his LinkedIn profile, positions him as a strategic choice for the leadership role within the Commission.

Despite attempts to seek comments from both Ansuman Pattnaik and the Competition Commission of India, there has been no response to queries from Reuters at the time of reporting.

The recent shake-up in the Competition Commission also saw the government appoint three new members in September. Among them are a former government official from the commerce ministry and a former interim compliance officer of WhatsApp, further fortifying the regulatory body with diverse expertise.

Source: Reuters