ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cartels and Competition Law in India

Cartel Regulation: India in an International Perspective by Lovely Dasgupta, New Delhi: Foundation Books, Cambridge University Press, 2014; pp vii +376, Rs 995, hardback.

“Our competitors are our friends, and our customers are our enemies.”1

Hard-core cartelisation is one of the most harmful organised economic crimes, and is penalised heavily in almost all jurisdictions. Different collusive practices, such as price-fixing, market/customer allocation, collusive bidding/tendering, collective boycott, etc, are prevalent in the market and a majority are never discovered. Successful introduction of new instruments such as direct settlement/plea bargaining, leniency/amnesty programmes, and strong and transparent fining guidelines over the last few decades or so has made cartel regulation a dynamic area of study for academics and practitioners alike. In India, the law changed substantially to accommodate changing market conditions. In terms of the objectives, instruments and possible impacts, we have come a long way from the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, 1969. New competition legislation recognised the pernicious effects of formal collusive agreements and created provision for harsher legal fines on the wrongdoers. However, we still have a lot to learn from the jurisdictions that not only effectively desisted anti-competitive agreements, but also created a pro-competitive environment for the businesses in general.

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