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What are the potential outcomes of a merger control investigation in India?

The outcomes of a Competition Commission review are:

  • prohibition;
  • unconditional approval; or
  • approval conditional on behavioural or structural remedies.

Remedies include rectifications of non-competition terms, behavioural commitments and even divestitures.

The commission was initially concerned about three cases in the pharmaceutical sector. Its concerns related to the duration and scope of non-competition obligations. In addition, it was concerned with two cases involving the infrastructure sector; the issue was essentially one of third-party access. However, in a more recent case in the pharmaceutical sector, the commission concluded that the high combined market shares of the parties in seven relevant product markets meant that significant competitors would be eliminated and that this was likely to result in an appreciable adverse effect on competition. Finally, in a case in the cement sector, the commission found that the high combined market shares of the parties, the high levels of concentration and the coordinated effects resulting from the oligopolistic nature of the market would lead to an appreciable adverse effect on competition. In each of these cases, the modifications accepted by the parties reduced the commission’s concerns and it eventually approved the combinations.

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