@FF12: CCI is an overall market regulator: Ashok Chawla

19 Mar,2012

By A Correspondent

 

Keynote speaker Ashok Chawla, Chairman, Competition Commission of India (CCI) opened his address by pointing out that the media and entertainment (M&E) industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in India today, with an expected CAGR of 14-15 percent. He attributed this to increase in disposable incomes and aspirational lifestyles.

 

He said that with digitisation set to come in by July 1, the M&E industry witnessed consolidation which has ensured synergy for players looking for entry. The state has been acting as facilitator, and by not regulating directly, ensuring a balanced growth.

 

Outlining this scenario, Mr Chawla proceeded to outline the role CCI performs in the industry. He said that CCI is an overall market regulator whose objective is to ensure that market forces operate with transparency and fair play. It has been put in place to identify the boundaries of behaviour of the industry.

 

Mr Chawla gave an overview of the Competition Act and how it came into force in 2009, in spite of having been passed in 2002. The philosophy of the Act was that with deregulation, there is a need for a body which can look at behaviour and how businesses are conducted.

 

Mr Chawla said that the Act has a two-fold agenda. It takes a look at, and if necessary action against, activities which are anti-trust and anti-competition in nature. It also ensures that the economic activity is not restricted and freedom of trade is not affected. The main objective is to ensure that the consumer should benefit by the more efficiency.

 

He said that they keep an eye on the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in all the sectors. Any M&A which goes above a certain threshold and can have an adverse impact on the market requires the mandatory approval of CCI, he added. The dissenters made to pay monetary penalties.

 

Mr Chawla also outlined the role that trade associations and bodies should play. He said that rules framed shouldn’t inhibit non-members as it could be anti-competition in nature. The bodies shouldn’t encourage collective boycott of non-member players as it would be construed as engaging in anti-competition practices and abetting collusion among the members and let the consumers choose their preferences.

 

He said that self-regulation was of prime importance to avoid infringement of law or market practices. He cautioned the players that consumers should be given primary importance and that should be the end goal of the businesses.

 

 

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