Nearly 25 per cent of all filings made to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) since August 2019 were routed through the Green Channel route thereby ensuring speedy and transparent disposal of the cases.

According to Sangeeta Verma, Chairperson, CCI, the commission is watching the digital space to ensure that the enterprises can build their businesses without going through strategic entry barriers.

Keeping in view the needs of the market and the best practices in other jurisdictions, the Commission, through a notification dated August 13, 2019, amended Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011, and introduced an automatic system of approval for combinations through a ‘Green Channel’ route.

Under this process, a combination is deemed to have been approved upon filing the notice in the prescribed format and acknowledgement thereof, subject to commission’s finding that the combination falls under the ‘Green Channel’ scheme. This system would significantly reduce time and cost of transactions, according to details available on CCI website.

The primary objective of the Green Channel scheme is to facilitate speedy disposal of specific merger and acquisition cases in which there is no underlying risk of any harm to competition regimes and no appreciable adverse effect on competition.

“Green Channel was introduced in August 2019 and it picked up gradually. Today nearly 25 per cent of our filings are green channel filings,” Verma said while speaking on the importance of competition law for industry organised by Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Friday.

Commission watching digital space

“The commission in recent orders has found some of the practices of digital intermediaries to be anti-competitive and the NCLAT last month has upheld some of our directions to such a dominant digital enterprise. As newer dimensions of digital markets unfold and new digital products emerge, the competition law will continue to provide necessary safeguards so that our industry gets to create and operate in a digital environment which is open, fair and contestable. But at the same time there is a growing recognition that enforcement of competition law may be supplemented with suitable code of conducts or may be even legislative measures that sets well defined enforceable ground rules for digital platforms that act as key intermediaries in different markets,” she said.   

According to her, CCI’s priority is to ensure that market outcomes in digital sectors are driven by market forces and not by “self perpetuating anti-competitive strategies of a small cohort of players”. This is critical for reaping the full dividend of digital revolution in terms of efficiency, gains, equal opportunities and innovations.

It is to be noted that the government has recently constituted a committee on digital competition law.

“The committee is examining the need for any ex-ante regulatory mechanism for systematically important digital intermediaries that may have the potential to cause harm in digital markets,” she added.