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Recommendations on the review of extant confidentiality regime under Regulation 35 of the Competition Commission of India Regulations, 2009

Vibrant image of Delhi with India Gate to depict AnantLaw submission to Government of India on policy recommendations in Regulation 35 of the Competition Commission of India regulations

The initiative of the Hon’ble Competition Commission of India (“CCI”/ ”Commission”) to invite public comments on the amendments proposed to Regulation 35 of the CCI (General) Regulations, 2009 (“Proposed Amendment”) is both commendable and much appreciated. The manner in which confidentiality, under the competition regime in India, is treated and granted, provides immense confidence and assurance to a party not only with respect to the robustness of the legislation but also in regards to the entire institution. Provisions for confidentiality provide effective means to parties to safeguard sensitive information and their identities so as to avoid commercially disadvantageous positions within the market. Therefore, the treatment of confidentiality under competition law is of paramount importance to all stakeholders.

Over the years, India’s competition regime has faced several difficulties on the aspect of confidentiality, which have been riddled with key concerns such as (1) Maintaining transparency of proceedings before the Commission (2) Providing adequate rights of defence to the parties (3) Balancing the disclosure and protection of sensitive information, among others.

AnantLaw submitted views and observations with respect to confidentiality regime and more particularly the Proposed Amendments to the Government of India. We seek to open up areas of discussion and analysis to best address the issues and concerns in India’s confidentiality regime under the Competition Act, 2002 including Proposed Amendments.

Our views and observations with respect to the Proposed Amendments are structured in two parts. In the First part, we discuss and scrutinise the existing framework of confidentiality under the competition law regime as well other economic laws in India. Further, we also take into account the standards and the procedure being followed internationally in regards to confidentiality and confidentiality rings in competition/anti-trust litigations. In the Second part, we encapsulate our recommendations and suggestions to the Proposed Amendment.

130621 AL PR - Reg 35 CCI
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