Merger control as a concept may have existed in India for a few decades, but never has the term evinced as much interest in this country as it has in the last two years. Exported from the West, the provisions can be found in the Competition Act, 2002 and the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011.
In brief, every combination (which may be an acquisition of shares, voting rights or control, or any merger or amalgamation) satisfying a minimum threshold, defined in terms of assets and turnover, must be notified to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and approval must be obtained. For the purposes of notification, two forms have been prescribed – Form I, which is relatively simple and mandatory, and Form II, which is detailed and optional, if the market share exceeds certain thresholds.
In the first few months after the provisions came into effect several interpretational and procedural issues arose. While these issues remain, the substantive issues connected with merger control have come to the fore with certain recent acquisitions.
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