Online Markets and Competition Law in India

By Apoorva Mandhani, Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

Online market platforms have altered the dynamics of many businesses since its inception. This has shaken the well-established offline retail market; and offline retailers fear the loss of business at a great extent because of E- Tailers.[1] Consequently, even at such a nascent stage, online markets have come under the scanner of the Competition authorities. (more…)

Are the discounts given by e-retailers anti-competitive?

By Aayushi Mehta, University of Mumbai.

Since time immemorial, consumers have known only one way of shopping- and that is going to the shop and buying what they need. We can know from the history of the early Roman Empire that efforts were made to prevent anti-competitive practices. Fines were imposed on anyone who deliberately stopped supply ships, death penalty for anyone violating a tariff system. Later, with the growth of civilisation various legislations were enacted to ensure fair competition in the market. Anti-competitive practices which fixed outputs, market shares, prices etc. were frowned upon and heavily penalised. (more…)

Extent of validity of Non-Compete Clause in India

By Apoorva Mandhani, Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

A clause in an employment agreement that restrains an employee from working with a competitor or carrying out a competing business is called a Non-Compete clause. An agreement in restraint of trade has been defined as “one in which a party agrees with any other party to restrict his liberty in the future to carry on trade with other persons who are not parties to the contract in such a manner as he chooses.”[1]

Vis-à-vis Indian Contract Act

The non-compete covenants used in agreements can be categorized into in term and post term covenants. Non-compete clauses are valid only to a very limited extent in India, because of the rider under Section 27 of the India Contract Act, which reads as follows: (more…)

Competition Law and Public Procurement

By Archit Gupta, National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

Governments devote a large share of taxpayers’ money to public procurement – purchasing goods and services from road building to school textbooks. Besides the central ministries and departments, public sector enterprises also form a major share in the overall public procurements. According to a paper by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), out of the total public procurement, public sector enterprises (PSEs) alone procure to the extent of 8 lakh crore annually (the figure relates to 2008-09)[i]. This activity is quite vulnerable to corruption and rigging with the involvement of both government officials and suppliers. Collusion between suppliers emerges in the form of bid-rigging and collusive bidding. Cartelization among suppliers with the help of government officials is a common feature and is the root cause of corruption. (more…)