Business Today

CCI packs punch for fairness, slaps Rs 2,700-cr fine in 2014

The regulator imposed penalties of Rs 2,675 crore on 169 entities in the first 10 months of 2014 alone.

Manoj Rammohan   New Delhi     Last Updated: December 23, 2014  | 19:32 IST
Fair trade regulator slapped Rs 2,700-cr fine in 2014
The regulator's ruling in the $4 billion Sun-Ranbaxy deal becoming a watershed moment (Photo: Reuters)

Wielding its powers for fairness, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) clamped down on violators and slapped penalties worth about Rs 2,700 crore this year, with its ruling in the $4 billion Sun-Ranbaxy deal becoming a watershed moment.

The regulator imposed penalties of Rs 2,675 crore on 169 entities in the first 10 months of 2014. The number of penalised entities is the highest ever in more than four years.

Even as a perception persists about CCI being yet another hurdle for doing business, the regulator cleared nearly 70 merger and acquisition deals this year.

Embracing a carrot and stick policy, the regulator has embarked on sensitising people and departments about the competition rules, apart from penalising individuals involved with entities at the time of violations. The orders passed against a number of chemist associations and some of their office bearers are cases in point.

FULL COVERAGE:The newmakers of 2014

Stamping its presence in the economic arena, the fair trade watchdog is now probing possible anti-competitive practices in sectors as diverse as real estate and e-commerce, with many big names including DLF and Flipkart coming under its scanner and decisions in these cases are keenly awaited in the new year.

However, it faces an uphill task ahead in 2015 for showing improvement in its performance with regard to recovery of penalties imposed by it, as most of its orders got challenged in the appellate tribunal and courts.

The year passing-by also saw the regulator using its rarely-used powers - ranging from a forced public scrutiny of mega deals that raise anti-competition concerns to fines on top executives and other individuals for violations of fair trade norms.

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