Competition Commission of India UPSC: Composition, Power and Functions of CCI

By meenakshi|Updated : September 21st, 2022

Competition Commission of India is a statutory body of the Indian government. The CCI full form is the Competition Commission of India, which was initially responsible for enforcing the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. However, on the recommendation of the Raghavan Committee, this act was replaced by The Competition Act, 2002. The commission is a quasi-judicial body that gives opinions to statutory authorities.

The Competition Commission of India UPSC is an important part of the IAS syllabus. Here in this article, you will get all the necessary information regarding the composition of the the Commission, eligibility criteria, objectives, powers and functions of CCI, achievements, and challenges being faced by far.

Table of Content

What is the Competition Commission of India?

CCI or Competition Commission of India is one of the most important statutory bodies in India, formed by the Vajpayee Government in 2003. However, the CCI became completely functional by March 2009 and is responsible for regulating the CCI Act of 2002.

The Indian government created the Competition Commission of India to establish a highly competitive environment in the economy by enforcing the Competition Act, 2002. This was made possible by having pro-active involvement and engagement among the stakeholders, international jurisdictions, and the Indian government.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) Highlights

Below is the basic overview of the Competition Commission of India relevant for the UPSC Exam:

CCI Highlights

Details

CCI Full form

Competition Commission of India

Competition Commission of India established

March 2009

Composition of CCi

one chairperson and six members, appointed by the central government

Competition Act, 2002

Enacted by the Indian Parliament. 

13th Annual Day commemoration of CCI

Finance Minister launched CCI website (upgraded one)

What is Competition Act, 2002?

The Competition Act, 2002, enacted by the Indian Parliament follows the modern Competition laws philosophy. Later, this act was amended by the Competition (Amendment) act 2007. Here are the important key points of the Competition Act, 2002:

  • Initially, the Competition Commission of India was responsible for enforcing The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. Later, on the recommendations of the Raghavan Committee, the Competition Act, 2002, repealed and replaced the MRTP act. 
  • The Competition Act, 2017 bars the abuse of the dominant position by the enterprises, along with the anti-competitive agreements. This act is also responsible for regulating the combinations that can cause a good impact on the Competition within the country.
  • Along with the Competition Commission of India, the Competition Appellate Tribunal was established following the Amend Act provision. Moreover, the Competition Appellate Tribunal COMPAT was replaced with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Dulal NCLAT, 2017 by the government of India). 

These Acts are responsible for upholding free enterprise, which is why the Competition law is also known as the Magna Carta of free enterprise. With the increase in globalization, the domestic industries are at a high chance of getting suppressed, so this law also ensures domestic industrial promotion. As the dominant enterprises can use their power to get involved in anti-competitive activities within the market, it ensures security against such kinds of market distortions and makes it safe.

Composition of Competition Commission of India

The Competition Commission of India members are selected under certain eligibility criteria. There can be a chairperson and up to six members can be a member of the Commission. The Central Government of India appoints these members. 

At present, the Commission is functioning with two members and a chairperson. Here are the key details of the member Composition of the Competition Commission of India: 

  • Initially, it was finalized that a maximum of six members and a minimum of two members were required to Run the Commission. 
  • But, the number was reduced to 1 chairperson and three members only. The change in the number of members was to come up with running the Commission. But, the number was reduced to 1 chairperson and three members only. The change in the number of members was to come up with faster hearings and quicker approval.
  • All the members of the Commission and the chairperson are appointed as full-time members. 

CCI Member's Eligibility Criteria 

The members of the Competition Commission of India must fulfill the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for the chairperson and the members include:

  • The chairperson and the other members shall be An individual of integrity and ability.
  • They need to be qualified as a High Court judge or, must possess the special knowledge of the same.
  • They must have a professional experience in economics, international trade, commerce, business, law, accountancy, finance, management, public affairs, industry, and administration for 15 years or more than that. 

Objectives of Competition Commission of India

The Competition Commission of India holds the vision of upholding free enterprise, ensuring domestic industrial promotion, and securing the market from anti-competitive activities. Here are the major objectives of the CCI:

  • To ensure freedom of trade.
  • To prevent the market from the anti-Competition practices.
  • To protect and add to the interests of customers.
  • To sustain the healthy Competition in markets. 

Powers and Functions of CCI

The powers of the Competition Commission are subjected to the welfare of the economical market. The function and the role played by the Competition Commission of India are:

  • Accelerates Consumer Welfare: CCI ensures that the Indian market is sustainably maintaining the welfare of the customers. 
  • Undertake Competition Advocacy: Competition advocacy comes under the Competition Commission of India.
  • Effective working of Competition Advocacy: The CCI spreads the information among the stakeholders to get the best possible benefits of the Competition.
  • Giving Opinions on Competition issues: Being the statutory authority, the Competition Commission of India is set to provide opinions on any such Competition issues.
  • Implies Competition policies: Since the Competition Commission of India aims to put into force the productive utilization of economic resources, the Commission works to implement competitive policies.
  • Blocking the Anti-competitive activities: CCI has the power to go against all the Anti-competitive. It is responsible for ensuring freedom of trade in the Indian market. 
  • Antitrust ombudsman for small organizations: With the increase in globalization, the domestic industries / small organizations are at a significant chance of getting suppressed by the already established dominant enterprises, so the Competition Commission of India also ensures domestic industrial promotion.

Competition Commission of India Achievements

The CCI is working fairly for the welfare of consumers in the Indian market and has marked certain achievements by far in 18 years. The Competition Commission of India's achievements can be summarized as follows:

  • By 2022, more than 1200 antitrust cases have been adjudicated by the Commission.
  • More than 900 mergers and acquisitions have been reported by the Commission and most among them are cleared. (Record Av. 30 days)
  • It came up with ‘Green Channel’ and other similar innovations for an automated transaction/combination approval process (50 such transactions are already cleared).

Competition Commission of India: Challenges Faced

Though the Competition Commission of India has performed exceptionally well in the Indian market, the CCI faced internal and external challenges while trying to implement these laws. These challenges are-

  • Antitrust issues: The ever-increasing Antitrust issues hinder the Commission. 
  • Challenges of Digitization: The increase in the modern business model that deals with the e-commerce and digital economy. Because of the digital economy, it is important to have network effects, data accessibility, etc.
  • Cartelization Threat: The pandemic has resulted in a shortage of commodities on a global level. This has affected the supply chain very drastically. An increase in the benches caused the increase in demand to make a judgment more speedily. 
  • New Requirements: The Market definitions, as per the CCI, has no boundaries in the digital space, so there is a need to come up with a new definition of what a market is.  

Future of CCI

Since a lot of enterprises have opted for the digital market by introducing new technologies like AI, loT, Web 3.0, Blockchains, etc. It has become a necessity to have complete knowledge of these latest technologies. This will help the Competition Commission of India to hold complete transparency for the effectiveness of consumers' benefit. 

Competition Commission of India UPSC

Competition Commission of India UPSC is a critical topic to learn concerning the IAS Exam. It comes under the current affairs and economics section of the UPSC Syllabus. Many questions have been asked from the CCI UPSC in both UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exams. 

You can download the NCERT books for UPSC and Economics Book for UPSC to have a detailed study of the topic. The Competition Commission of India is often asked about in the Economy section. You can also check the Economy Notes for UPSC for better preparation.  

 Competition Commission of India Notes PDF

Competition Commission of India UPSC Questions 

Various questions have been asked about the Competition Act, 2002, and the Competition Commission of India in the UPSC prelims. Here are a few questions along with the answers:

Question 1) When did the Competition Act, 2002 came into force?

A) 01 April 2004

B) 31 March 2003

C) 01 May 2002

D) 23 April 2003

Answer – Option B

Question 2) Section of the Competition Act, 2002 deals with Compensation in case of contravention of orders of Commission_?

A) Section 42A of the Competition Act, 2002

B) Section 44 of the Competition Act, 2002

C) Section 43 of the Competition Act, 2002

D) Section 41 of the Competition Act, 2002

Answer – Option A

Other Important UPSC Notes
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) UPSC NotesMoney Multiplier UPSC Notes
Statue Of Equality UPSC NotesInclusive Growth UPSC Notes
Disaster Management UPSC NotesLand Reforms in India UPSC Notes
One Nation One Ration Card Scheme UPSC NotesClimate Change UPSC Notes
Cyclone UPSC NotesOperation Twist UPSC Notes

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Competition Commission of India FAQs

  • The Competition Commission of India or the CCI is a statutory body under the Government of India. It was initially responsible for enforcing the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. However, on the recommendation of the Raghavan Committee, this act was replaced by The Competition Act, 2002.

  • Here are the major objectives of the Competition Commission of India:

    • To ensure freedom of trade.
    • To prevent the market from the anti-Competition practices.
    • To protect and add to the interests of customers.
    • To sustain the healthy Competition in markets.
  • The Competition act, 2002, follows the modern Competition laws philosophy that was enacted by the Indian Parliament. It keeps the stability in the economical development in the Indian Market. Initially, the Community Commission of India was responsible for enforcing The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, and later, the law was amended by the Competition (Amendment) act 2007.

  • The Community Commission of India is responsible for securing the market from anti-competitive activities through the Anti-competitive agreements. Anti-competitive agreements are agreements among competitors to restrict, prevent, or distort competition within the market.

  • The Competition Act 2002 establishes the CCI and the Competition Appellate Tribunal. The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 was enacted to amend the Competition Act, 2002

  • Ashok Kumar Gupta, an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, 1981 batch is the chairperson of the Competition Commission of India. 

  • The MRTP Act or the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 was an act under the CCI, which was replaced by the Competition Act, 2002, on the recommendations of the Raghavan committee.

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