Samir Agarwal vs CCI – NCLAT’s Erroneous Approach Towards Locus Standi

Anurag Mohan Bhatnagar and Amiya Upadhyay, National Law University Odisha

Introduction

Recently, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) passed a decision wherein it ruled that the locus standi to approach the Competition Commission of India (CCI) shall only be restricted to the person who has suffered harm because of anti-competitive practices in the market. This has created a major turmoil in the competition law regime since the decision is in disregard of the intent of the legislature and settled principles of interpretation. Axiomatically, the term “any person” as under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act) acts as a gate through which multiple entities can reach the commission with complaints of anti-competitive practices. The provision also ensures healthy competition in the market of India. However, it does not have a mechanism to filter-out ill-motivated and frivolous complaints reaching CCI.

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Understanding ‘Network Effect’

Abhishek Tripathy, 4th year law student, Nirma University

Network effect can be defined as a consumer’s effect from using a good or service on the total perceived value of that product or service for others. The number of users/consumers who use a product or service is directly proportional to the value of the network. Let’s take the example of an online messenger, suppose X no. of people join the messenger, it will attract Y no. of people who are not on the platform but want to access X through the services provided by the messenger. The e-commerce scenario in India is majorly a two-sided market, wherein there is a user network, a seller network and they both are connected through an intermediary.

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