Key Concepts of Group and Control under the [Indian CCI’s] Competition Act, 2002

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved more than 670 combinations, as on 2 July 2019, and has touched upon the concepts of group and control in many combination orders. Of these combination orders, approximately 20 orders provide lists of affirmative voting rights/veto rights which may tantamount to control as per the CCI, and more than 60 orders provide CCI’s interpretation of various forms of control under the Competition Act, 2002 (Competition Act).

In this handbook, Chapter 2 examines the three limbs of the definition of ‘group’ as provided under the Explanation to Section 5 of the Competition Act; Chapter 3 discusses the various forms of ‘control’ as described by the CCI in its various orders approving combinations; Chapter 4 highlights the importance of determining ‘group’ and ‘control’ in light of availing the Item 1 exemption (Item 1) under Schedule I of CCI (Procedure in regard to the transaction of Business relating to Combinations) Regulations, 2011 (Combination Regulations) and further links Item 1 and ‘control’ in light of private equity transactions; Chapter 5 highlights combination orders where the CCI has explained the significance of ‘joint control’ and ‘group’ in light of intra-group exemptions; Chapter 6 further elaborates on providing group level information to the CCI to conduct competitive assessments and establish ‘control’ through shareholding of common family members; lastly, Chapter 7 explains the CCI’s analysis of group in cases of abuse of dominance under Section 4 of the Competition Act and concept of ‘single economic entity’ under Section 3 of the Competition Act.

The focus of this handbook is to trace the decisional practice of the CCI on these key concepts under the Competition Act.