Overlap between SEBI and CCI

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The most common industries where competition law interacts with sector or industry specific  laws are in the network industries involving access to network facilities sometimes considered as essential facilities or interconnection, monopoly pricing, anti competitive agreements and merger  control.

The overlap problem and jurisdictional disputes typically arise in the following areas:

Licensing Conditions: the number of licenses and the conditions of the licenses will have an effect on the intensity of competition;

Market Dominance: market definition and assessment of dominance by the sector regulator in establishing which operator should offer interconnection services on one hand and by the competition authority in establishing abuse of market power by an operator;

Monopoly Pricing: some competition regimes include rules, which restrict excessive or unjust prices. Such rules could also conflict with industry specific pricing rules established under utility sector or industry specific regulation.

Restrictive Business Practices: where we have one vertically integrated monopoly firm then there are no competitors, hence there is no one with which to enter into agreements or to behave in a manner that would restrict or lessen competition in the market for relevant services.

Merger Control: restriction on mergers between utilities and other firms, or restrictions on reintegration, are often provided for under industry or sector specific regulatory laws. In the new unbundled environment of infrastructure firms, common ownership for example of generation firms with transmission or generation with distribution firms is normally restricted under sector specific regulation.

** Blog post contributed by:
Mr. Abhishek Bhargava
Asst Professor,
Indian Institute of Legal Studies, Siliguri

Image credit: wikipedia.

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