The Competition Amendment Bill, 2022 was on Monday passed by the Parliament, after the Rajya Sabha passed it amid protests by opposition led by Congress over the Adani issue.
The bill was earlier passed by Lok Sabha on March 29 without discussion amid noisy protests by opposition, which has been seeking a probe in the Adani-Hindenburg issue by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
The bill proposes to expand the scope of cartel prosecution by bringing hybrid anti-competitive agreements (such as hub and spoke cartels) within its ambit to enable the Competition Commission of India to treat cartel facilitators (who actively participated) at par with the cartel participants.
It also proposes to further expand the scope of cartel prosecution to include non-participants who had "intended to participate" in the cartel.
In view of making the assessment for combinations time-bound and quicker, the bill proposes that the overall time-limit for such assessment should be reduced from the existing 210 days to 150 days from the date of filing of combination notice by the parties.
On the lines of best global practices, the legislation proposes a size of transaction test to be introduced in terms of "value of transaction" as another criteria for notifying combinations.
Under the provisions of the bill, all transactions related to acquisitions of any control, shares or voting rights, exceeding Rs 2,000 crore, will require the approval of the CCI.
Also, it seeks to broaden the scope of anti-competitive agreements.