The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) has, by a notification dated July 1, 2015 amended the CCI (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (“Combination Regulations”) in order to simplify and provide more clarity in relation to merger control filings. The changes to the Combination Regulations are in line with the draft amendments which were published on the CCI website in March, 2015 for public comments. We have highlighted the key changes:
- It has been clarified that if the intent of the parties to a combination to acquire has been communicated to any statutory authority, whether or not any other document apart from the definitive documents have been executed, then the obligation to make the filing with the CCI would be from the date of such communication;
- Any person who is duly authorised by the board of directors of a company can sign the notice in Form I or Form II;
- A summary of the combination will have to be separately submitted to the CCI along with the filing for it to be published on the website of the CCI. The summary cannot contain confidential information;
- The CCI can invalidate a notice filed by parties if the notice is incomplete and does not conform with the Combination Regulations;
- For forming the prima facie view in relation to a combination, CCI shall have 30 (thirty) working days instead of 30 (thirty) calendar days with a maximum period of 15 (fifteen) working days that can be excluded for seeking information from a party to the combination;
- The parties to the combination can request confidentiality of information in the filing with the CCI, including in relation to any information or documents submitted to the CCI during the investigation, provided such requests or affidavit in this regard, as prescribed are in accordance with the CCI (General) Regulations, 2009;
- Form I for notifying combination has been amended;
- The number of electronic copies of the notice to be filed with the CCI has been reduced.
The amendments to the Combination Regulations are in line with some of the best practices in other jurisdictions. In its attempt to bring in greater transparency regarding the review process, the CCI will now publish on its website a summary of every combination under review. This should provide stakeholders an opportunity to submit their comments to CCI regarding a proposed combination.