The Lok Sabha today, March 29, passed the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022 without discussion. Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman moved the Bill in the House amid the din. The Bill seeks to amend the Competition Act, 2002 to regulate mergers and acquisitions based on the value of transactions.
The Bill stipulates that deals with a transaction value of more than two thousand crore rupees will require the Competition Commission of India’s approval. The Bill also proposes to reduce the timeline for the CCI to pass an order on such transactions from 210 days to 150 days.
The Bill provides a framework for settlement and commitment for faster resolution of investigations of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position. It also decriminalises certain offences under the Act by changing the nature of punishment from the imposition of fine to civil penalties. These offences include failure to comply with orders of the CCI and directions of the Director General related to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position.