The Interaction between Competition Law & Digital and E-commerce Markets in India
Anshuman Sakle and Nandini Pahari
Part I of this article deals with the present regulatory framework under the Act within the ambit of which anti-competitive practices of e-commerce platforms are currently being investigated by the CCI. Part II of the article provides a brief snapshot of how the CCI has dealt with the anti-competitive practices of e-commerce platforms in the past and how these decisions and observations gradually led to the realization that such platforms are unique and different from the existing offline or brick and mortar market-places. Part III of the article deals with the various kinds of anti-competitive practices (including the novel types of anti-competitive arrangements) that the e-commerce sector may be prone to due to its dis- tinct business model and whether the present scope of the Act is sufficient to deal with such practices. Part IV throws some light upon the defenses that the CCI has considered while investigating into the practices of the e-commerce platforms and demonstrates why the CCI adopted a â€˜rule of reasonâ€™ or a flexible approach while adjudicating such cases. Part V of the article deals with an important initiative undertaken by the CCI in the form of the E-commerce Report to understand the scope of such markets appropriately and be well-equipped to investigate any anti-competitive practices of such platforms. Part VI discusses how other jurisdictions are dealing with simi- lar issues and the measures adopted by them. The conclusion highlights the major takeaway points of what the authors feel about the adequacy of the steps undertaken by the CCI in dealing with the anti-competitive practices of the e-commerce platforms and the way forward in this regard.
Anshuman Sakle is a Partner with the Competition Practice at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Nandini Pahari is an Associate with the Competition Practice at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas