COMPETITION LAW & POLICY

ELP houses one of India's leading Competition Law & Policy practices, operating from Delhi and Mumbai. We have been closely involved in the evolution and continuing growth of jurisprudence under India's new competition regime and have actively collaborated with the Competition Commission of India ("CCI") on various advocacy and regulatory initiatives. We have successfully represented the CCI between 2009 and 2011 before various courts in India and played a vital role in developing the jurisprudence that currently governs the operation of competition law in India today. ELP was also part of the "Law Firm Working Group" formed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to give a final shape to the merger regulations of the country.

Our dedicated Competition Law & Policy team, consisting of experienced lawyers and economists, has been engaged in representing national and multi -national clients in a diverse range of sectors including information technology, pharmaceuticals, fibre cement sheets, ports, power, steel, automobile manufacturing, automotive components, natural gas industry and sports. Our team advises on a full range of competition law matters, including merger control, anti - competitive agreements, including cartel enforcement, abuse of dominance, competition advisory, competition audit and compliance. We have worked with the Department for International Development to re-write the competition and consumer laws in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Our integrated litigation and regulatory practice, which work together seamlessly, gives us and our clients an edge in contentious work. The team regularly acts for complainants and for defendants in various conduct/ behavioural inquiries before the CCI, the Competition Appellate Tribunal ("COMPAT") and the Supreme Court of India and are currently representing clients in some of the most contentious investigations that are currently underway in India.

Services

Anti-Competitive Agreements

The Competition Act, 2002 (the Competition Act) empowers the CCI to scrutinize agreements - both horizontal and vertical, to see whether they result in an appreciable adverse effect on competition in the relevant market in India. Our team has advised numerous domestic and international companies in a number of sectors, on the compatibility of provisions contained in supply and distribution agreements, as well as other exclusive arrangements, cartel investigations, joint ventures etc. for compliance with the provisions of the Competition Act.

Abuse of Dominant Position

Preventing abuse of dominant position appears to be one of the key focus areas of the CCI's enforcement policy. ELP's Competition Law & Policy team has handled the first abuse of dominance case in India, on behalf of the complainant, where the CCI found in favour of the complainant and continues to represent various enterprises for an alleged abuse of dominance claim before the CCI, COMPAT and the Supreme Court of India. We have also advised several domestic and foreign firms with significant market power in designing their pricing and discount programmes. These clients range from sectors such as information technology, polymer and automotive components.

Merger Control

ELP being a full service law firm, is able to provide its clients varied range of services from start to the end of a transaction, which entails identifying competition law issues at the due diligence stage, determining application of merger control provisions in the earlier stages and preparing merger filings for it to be filed with the CCI at the start of the trigger to save timelines and get expedited approvals.

The team is able to offer comprehensive merger control guidance, including:

  • advice on structuring of transactions for the purposes of merger control;
  • applicability of merger control provisions on transactions and where required, filing merger notifications with the CCI, including preparation of merger filings, follow-up responses to questions raised;
  • preparing detailed economic market analysis, including engaging an economist (where required) to be presented to the CCI as part of the notification; and
  • conducting pre-merger consultations with the CCI to seek clarity on contentious issues.

Our practice group has worked closely with domestic and multinational enterprises to provide advice on various aspects of the merger control regulations. Members of our team have worked on various merger notifications, including some complex Form II merger notifications filed with the CCI.

Cartel Investigations

With a threat of heavy fines and wide powers of search and seizure enjoyed by the CCI, several large corporations are wary of potential cartel investigations. ELP's Competition Law & Policy team has represented clients in the most high profile cartel investigations commenced by the CCI in allegations relating to anti-competitive horizontal agreements and cartels. Our team also advises clients on potential cartel investigations and provides solution-oriented advice on steps to be taken to avoid scrutiny by the CCI. The team is currently advising certain clients on filing 'information' before the CCI on cartelization as part of a broader leniency strategy and is representing various entities in pending cartel investigations before the CCI and COMPAT.

Competition Litigation

ELP has been involved in contentious competition matters since the commencement of the new competition law regime in India. We have represented the CCI in its first ever case before the Supreme Court of India where it was able to successfully challenge the order of the COMPAT in a landmark decision. Some other milestone cases handled by the firm, include representing the CCI as counsel in a writ petition filed by Kingfisher Airlines at the Bombay High Court. Our extensive competition litigation practice includes not only dealing with the CCI and making filings and pleadings before the CCI and COMPAT but also representing clients before various High Courts or the Supreme Court of India, as and when required.

Competition Compliance Programmes

ELP's Competition Law & Policy team offers tailor made "Competition Compliance" programmes to its clients. Such a competition compliance review program assists enterprises in understanding the various requirements of the Competition Act and taking steps to ensure that business is conducted in accordance with such requirements.

A typical competition compliance programme undertaken by ELP includes analyzing provisions in standard agreements, structuring discount and pricing schemes, preparing for dawn raids, re-drafting corporate communications and various other functions in the day-to-day business of a company. Our team conducts the competition review on the basis of a structured questionnaire and ensures that companies are made aware of areas of risk in their operations and are taking steps to ameliorate those risks.

India Business Law Journal's February 2016 Issue

"ELP provided first-rate advice on competition and antitrust, I would happily use them again for such work."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014

"We have confidence in them and we like their approach. They go into a lot of depth and involve a range of personnel, including economists and marketing folk, before the approach is finalised."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014

"Their subject matter expertise is very good, as is their understanding of the law and their ability to apply it to the practical aspects of the case."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2012

A very dynamic firm that is fully conversant with bringing economics into the law.

Achievements

Competition & Antitrust Law Firm of the Year in India Business Law Journal's Indian Law Firm Awards 2013 to 2015


Best Competition & Anti-Trust Law Firm of the Year in LegalEra Awards 2016


Band 2 for Competition/Antitrust in Chambers Global and Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016


Highly Recommended for Competition & Antitrust by Asialaw Profiles 2014 to 2016



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