The MRTP Act, 1969

Post independence, many new and big firms have entered the Indian market. They had little competition and they were trying to monopolize the market. The Government of India understood the intentions of such firms. In order to safeguard the rights of consumers, Government of India passed the MRTP bill. The bill was passed and the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, came into existence. Through this law, the MRTP commission has the power to stop all businesses that create barrier for the scope of competition in Indian economy.

The MRTP Act, 1969, aims at preventing economic power concentration in order to avoid damage. The act also provides for probation of monopolistic, unfair and restrictive trade practices. The law controls the monopolies and protects consumer interest.

Monopolistic Trade Practice

Such practice indicates misuse of one's power to abuse the market in terms of production and sales of goods and services. Firms involved in monopolistic trade practice tries to eliminate competition from the market. Then they take advantage of their monopoly and charge unreasonably high prices. They also deteriorate the product quality, limit technical development, prevent competition and adopt unfair trade practices.

Unfair Trade Practice

The following may result in an unfair trade practice:

• • • • • •

False representation and misleading advertisement of goods and services. Falsely representing second-hand goods as new. Misleading representation regarding usefulness, need, quality, standard, style etc of goods and services. False claims or representation regarding price of goods and services. Giving false facts regarding sponsorship, affiliation etc. of goods and services. Giving false guarantee or warranty on goods and services without adequate tests.

Restrictive Trade Practice

The traders, in order to maximize their profits and to gain power in the market, often indulge in activities that tend to block the flow of capital into production. Such traders also bring in conditions of delivery to affect the flow of supplies leading to unjustified costs.

About the MRTP Act, 1969

The MRTP Act extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This law was enacted:

• • •

To ensure that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of economic power in hands of few, To provide for the control of monopolies, and To prohibit monopolistic and restrictive trade practices.

Unless the Central Government otherwise directs, this act shall not apply to:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Any undertaking owned or controlled by the Government Company, Any undertaking owned or controlled by the Government, Any undertaking owned or controlled by a corporation (not being a company) established by or under any Central, Provincial or State Act, Any trade union or other association of workmen or employees formed for their own reasonable protection as such workmen or employees, Any undertaking engaged in an industry, the management of which has been taken over by any person or body of persons under powers by the Central Government, Any undertaking owned by a co-operative society formed and registered under any Central, Provincial or state Act, Any financial institution.

MRTP Commission and Filing of Complaint

For the purpose of this Act, the Central Government has established a commission to be known as the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. This commission shall consist of a Chairman and minimum 2 and maximum 8 other members, all to be appointed by the Central Government. Every member shall hold the office for a period specified by the Central Government. This period shall not exceed 5 years. However, the member will be eligible for re-appointment.

In case of any unfair trade practice, monopolistic trade practice and/or restrictive trade practice, a complaint can be filed against such practices to the MRTP commission. The procedure for filing a complaint is as follows:

• • • • •

Complaint is filed either by the individual consumer or through a registered consumer organization. The Director General of the MRTP commission would carry on the investigation for finding facts of the case. If the prima facie case is not made, the complaint is dismissed. If the compliant is true, an order is passed to its effect. The commission restricts and restrains the concerned party from carrying on such practices by granting temporary injunction. Then the final order is passed. The complainant may be compensated for his loss.

• The commission may restrain the party concerned from carrying on the impugned trade practices by granting temporary injunction. • False and misleading claims with respect to the price of goods or services. guarantee of performance that is not based on an adequate test or making to public a representation which purports to be such a guarantee or warranty. provide for control of monopolies and probation of monopolistic. approval or affiliation which they do not have. preventing or reducing competition. and protect consumer interest. seller or supplier have a sponsorship. quality. No. Unfair Trade Practice: • Misleading advertisement and False Representation • Falsely representing that goods and services are of a particular standard. • Representing that goods or services. • If no prima facie case is made. restrictive and unfair trade practice. Compensation may be granted to the complainant.: 011-23384965 Procedure of action on complaint: • Inquiry may be initiated through a complaint by an individual or registered consumer organisation. • Falsely representing any second hand renovated or old goods as new. Monopolistic trade practice: Monopolistic trade practice is that which represents abuse of market power in the production and marketing of goods and services by eliminating potential competitors from market and taking advantage of the control over the market by charging unreasonably high prices. grade. • Giving to public any warranty.MRTP MONOPOLIES AND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICE COMMISSION Complaints regarding monopolistic trade practice. 1969. MRTP ACT The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act. • Fact finding investigation is carried on by the Director General. No. else an order is passed to that effect. . • Final order is passed. composition or style. deteriorating product quality or by adopting unfair or deceptive trade practices.: 011-23385961 / 23385970 Fax. • Making a false or misleading representation concerning need for. or usefulness of goods or services. unfair trade practice and restrictive trade practice can be made to the MRTP commission at the following address: Director General (Investigation & Registration) MRTPC Bikaner House Baracks Shahjahan Road New Delhi 110011 Tel. the complaint is dismissed. limiting technical development. aims to prevent concentration of economic power to the common detriment.

Thus. The overall intention of competition law policy has not changed markedly over the past century. responded to opening up its economy. Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution of India mandate. Pegging on the Directive Principles. is inadequate for fostering competition in the market and trade and for reducing. The major concern with monopoly and similar kinds of concentration is not that being big is necessarily undesirable. and the State shall. Most countries in the world have enacted competition laws to protect their free market economies. on enquiry comes to a conclusion that an errant undertaking has indulged either in Restrictive or Unfair Trade Practice. India’s outgoing law. namely. services or trade of another person or concern. 1969 into The Competition Act. in the pursuit of globalization. The MRTP Act also provides for the acceptance of an assurance from an errant undertaking that it has taken steps to ensure that prejudicial effect of trade practice no more exists. in comparison with competition laws of many countries. a social order in which justice – social. the MRTP Act is regarded as the competition law of India. . for the objective of taking measures to avoid anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance as well as to regulate mergers and takeovers which result in distortion of the market. Doctrine behind MRTP Act[2] Behavioral and reformist doctrines inform the MRTP Act. because it defines a restrictive trade practice to mean a trade practice. 1969 has become obsolete in certain respects in the light of international economic developments relating more particularly to competition laws and there is a need to shift the focus from curbing monopolies to promoting competition. In terms of the reformist doctrine. 2002 and describes the necessity for a new Act. But the MRTP Act. which has. Its intent is to limit the role of market power that might result from substantial concentration in a particular industry. Restrictive Trade Practice: To maximise profits and market power. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act. the first Indian competition law was enacted in 1969 and was christened theMONOPOLIES AND RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES ACT. These Articles are a part of the Directive Principles of State Policy.Giving false or misleading facts disparaging the goods. However. because of the control exerted by a monopoly over price. there is a need to protect competition. The veneer of the MRTP Act is essentially based on an advisory or reformist approach. Restrictive or Unfair Trade Practice. particularly. The laws were required to be enacted. if not eliminating. anti-competitive practices in the country’s domestic and international trade. that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively. direct its policy towards securing 1. The rationale of free market economy is that the competitive offers of different suppliers allow the buyers to make the best purchase. the provisions of the MRTP Act provide that if the MRTP Commission. primarily. it can direct such undertakings to discontinue or not to repeat the undesirable trade practice. as it may. In line with the Antitrust legislation being an integral part of the economic life in many countries. The design of a new law carves a very important role for the Competition Commission of India. and 2. The motivation of each participant in a free market economy is to maximize self-interest but the result is favourable to society. there are economic efficiency losses to society and product quality and diversity may also be affected. removing controls and resorting to liberalization. the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment. inter alia. Introduction The decision of the Government of India to liberalize its economy with the intention of removing controls persuaded the Indian Parliament to enact laws providing for checks and balances in the free economy. The earlier Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act. or may have the effect of preventing. • A JOURNEY FROM MRTP TO COMPETITION LAW Abstract India has. This article deals with metamorphosis of the MRTP Act. distorting or restricting competition in any manner. [1] Constitution and Trigger Cause Competition Law for India was triggered by Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution of India. There is no deterrence by economic system in which the allocation of resources is determined solely by supply and demand. As a natural consequence of this Indian market has to be geared up to face competition from within and outside the country. It may also bring manipulation of prices or conditions of delivery or affect the flow of supplies in the market so as to impose unjustified costs. 1969 (MRTP Act). In terms of the behavioral doctrine. the ownership and control of material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common good. 1969 was not only found to be inadequate but also obsolete in certain respects. in the light of international economic developments relating to competition law. in particular. traders often attempt to indulge in certain trade practices which tend to obstruct the flow of capital into the stream of production. the conduct of the entities. economic and political – shall inform all the institutions of the national life. undertakings and bodies which indulge in trade practices in such a manner as to be detrimental to public interest is examined with reference to whether the said practices constitute any Monopolistic.

Competitive Agreements[5] Abuse of Dominance[6] Combinations Regulation[7] Competition Advocacy[8] Extra-Teeth of Competition Act 2002 Sections 60 and 61 of the Act give further teeth to the Commission. for. ii) Water rate levied by the Department of Irrigation for the service of provision of irrigation facility is not “Tax” as distinguished from ‘Fee’. for brief) has essentially four compartments: • • • • Anti .”[10] Therefore. The Bill sought to ensure fair competition in India by prohibiting trade practices which cause appreciable adverse effect on the competition in market within India and for this purpose establishment of a quasi-judicial body was considered essential. be taken to control the non-obstante clause where both cannot be read harmoniously. it becomes interesting to note that when we consider the case of an Enterprise or a Person or any Statutory Authority regulating production. 2002. creating awareness and imparting training about Competition Issues. Effective Enforcement The gains sought through competition law can only be realized with effective enforcement. A clear answer to this question is in the title of this section. In ‘Gir Prasad vs. even apart from such clause a later law abrogates earlier laws clearly inconsistent with it”[9] “ A non-obstante clause is a legislative device usually employed to give overriding effect to certain provisions over some contrary provisions that may be found either in the same enactment or some other enactment. Pillars of Competition Act. supply or provision of any service and such a case if happens to deal with competition issues then the jurisdiction of the Commission may not possibly be ignored. the. the 'Competition Commission of India' (for short. The Future[11] Thought it is too soon at present. Wine gets better as it ages. the Competition Act. where it is clear. and hence an undertaking under the Act. it should be borne in mind that the effectiveness of any legislation may be improved by a periodic review of its working. Competition Act. “The enacting part of the statute must. a question often asked is whether it is not still the old law in substance although not in form. As per the statement of objects and reasons. The Act is a new wine in a new bottle. A responsibility is also cast on the Commission to take suitable measures for the promotion of Competition Advocacy. as the said service was not free of charge but was visited with levy of water rate under the Northern India Canal &Drainage Act. iii) Provision of irrigation facilities by irrigation department was service. if not eliminate anti-competition practices and also to play its role of competition advocacy. That appears to be the intentions of the Legislatures. that is to say to avoid the operation and effect of all contrary provisions. After completion of the consultation process. a High Level Committee on Competition Policy and Law was constituted to examine its various aspects and make suggestions keeping in view the competition policy of India. Now every activity. 1873. . The other object was to curb the negative aspects of competition through such a body namely. The extant MRTP Act 1969 has aged for more than three decades and has given birth to the new law (the Act) in line with the changed and changing economic scenario in India and rest of the world and in line with the current economic thinking comprising liberalization. The Government should provide the required infrastructure and funds to make the Competition Commission an effective Tribunal to prevent. The Act is therefore a new wine in a new bottle. inter alia. The Director General appointed under Section 16(1) of the Act is a specialized investigating wing of the Commission In short. held that i) Government Department is an enterprise. the establishment of the Commission and enactment of the Act was aimed at preventing practices having adverse effect on competition. unfair or monopolistic trade practice is maintainable under the MRTP Act before the Commission. other than sovereign activities and excepted ones fall within the purview of the Competition Act and the Commission established under the said Act. privatization and globalization. 2003. 'Commission') which has the power to perform different kinds of functions. and iv) Hence complaint relating to restrictive. The opinion of the Commission is not binding on the Government and it may formulate its Competition Policy as it deems fit. 2002 (for short. Weak enforcement often reflects a number of factors such as inadequate funding of the enforcement authority. including passing of interim orders and even awarding compensation and imposing penalty. this enactment is India's response to the opening up of its economy. 2002 The rubric of the new law. Weak enforcement of competition law is perhaps worse than the absence of competition law. 2002 (Act. the 'Act') as Act 12 of 2003. Concluding the discussion. This Committee made recommendations and submitted its report on 22nd of May. 2002. it appears that the post – 1991 changes had set the trend and the said trend has been broadened under the Competition Act. The natural corollary of this is that the Indian market should be geared to face competition from within the country and outside. Government of Uttar Pradesh (Irrigation Department)’[4]the MRTPC has. Section 49 of the Act itself has provided for a review of the laws related to competition. Section 60 is a ‘Non-obstante’ clause and the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in this regard is given hereinafter.Competition Act 2002[3] In India. was enacted. New wine in an Old Bottle After the Act was placed on the web-site and came into the public domain. The Central Government may formulate a policy on Competition and refer to the Competition Commission seeking its opinion on the possible effect of the proposed policy on Competition. to protect the interest of the consumer and to ensure fair trade carried out by other participants in the market in India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. removing controls and resorting to liberalization. dated 12th December.

however entertain any new case arising under the MRTP Act on or after 1 September 2009. As of now. including cases having an element of unfair trade practice. It will not. The Act had become redundant post July 1991 when the new economic policy was announced and Chapter III of the MRTP Act dealing with restrictions on M&A activities was made inoperative. Government of India has issued a Notification dated 28th August 2009. the MRTP Act was a grim reminder of the “licence-quota. whereby the most controversial the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act. MRTP Commission a) The MRTP Commission will continue to exercise jurisdiction and power under the repealed MRTP Act in respect of any case or proceeding filed before 1 September 2009. b) Unfair trade practice cases: All pending cases relating solely to unfair trade practices shall stand transferred to the National Commission as constituted under the Consumer Protection Act. These cases will be dealt with by them in accordance with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. cases pending before the MRTP Commission will be transferred as follows:- a) Monopolistic or restrictive trade practice cases: All pending cases pertaining to monopolistic or restrictivetrade practices. It is also not clear whether these new provisions will be applicable in cases where definitive agreements have been signed before the notification but closing of the transaction has not happened. . if applicable. b) Upon the expiry of the specified two year period. It would. Government of India has issued a Notification dated 28th August 2009. 2009 for a period of 2 years. 2009 Subject Transitional Provisions – the MRTP Act.f. which shall adjudicate such cases in accordance with the provisions of the repealed MRTP Act. for a period of two years. 2002 w. 2002. It will. We are giving below details of the transitional provisions:- Date: September 1. I wish to clarify that the provisions relating to M&A transactions (Sections 5 & 6 of the new Competition Act dealing with regulation of combinations) are yet to be notified. therefore. 2002:- 1. As you would recall. Transfer of pending cases Upon the expiry of two years from 1 September 2009. 2009) The Ministry of Corporate Affairs. 2002. not entertain any new cases from now onwards. The MRTP Commission will continue to handle all the old cases filed prior to September 1. with effect from September 1. 1969 to the Competition Act. which may in turn transfer such cases to a State Commission constituted under the said Act under circumstances it deems appropriate. shall stand transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal. September 1. with effect from September 1. however.e. with effect from September 1. 1986. 1969 (“the MRTP Act”) stands repealed and is replaced by the Competition Act. The following transitional provisions would apply as provided in Section 66 of the Competition Act. 2009 The Ministry of Corporate Affairs.permit-raj” of 1970’s & 1980’s. be advisable to put a clause in all M&A transaction documents executed from now onwards that the closing of the transaction would be subject to any prior clearance that may be required from the Competition Commission of India under the provisions of the Competition Act. 1969 (“the MRTP Act”) stands repealed and is replaced by the Competition Act. 2009. the MRTP Commission shall stand dissolved.MRTP Act repealed and is replaced by the Competition Act. 2. 2002. 2002. there is no clarity as to when these provisions would be made effective. whereby the most controversial the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act. 2009.

or for the charges at which the services are. derived by the production. or maintenance. or (iv) the profits which are. sold or resold. or any services rendered in India to deteriorate. supply or distribution of any goods (including the sale or purchase) or by the provision of any services. a) maintaining the prices of goods or charges for the services at an unreasonable level by limiting. which has or is likely to have the effect of either. or (ii) charges for the provision. it would be presumed that the same is a MTP and is prejudicial to public interest. services or trade of another person will be transferred to the CCI. f) preventing or lessening competition in the production. b) unreasonably preventing or lessening competition in the production. Investigations/proceedings undertaken by the Director General under the MRTP Act With effect from 1 September 2009. supply or distribution of goods of any description or the supply of services or in any other manner. b) Unfair trade practices will be transferred to the National Commission under the Consumer Protection) Act 1986. 3. I Monopolistic Trade Practice (MTP). unless such trade . or may be. or e) increasing unreasonably (iii) the prices at which goods are. of any services. c) Cases giving false or misleading facts disparaging the goods. supply or distribution of any goods or in the supply of any services. services or trade of another person under the MRTP Act: All such pending cases shall be transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal which will be dealt in accordance with the provisions of repealed MRTP Act. who may conduct such investigations/ proceedings in any manner it deems appropriate. or may be provided. supplied or distributed. Once a trade practice falls under any one of the above categories. all pending investigations and proceedings by the Director General relating to:- a) Monopolistic/ restrictive trade practices will be transferred to the Competition Commission of India (CCI).c) Cases relating to giving false or misleading facts disparaging the goods. or may be. supply or distribution of any goods or in the provision or maintenance of any services by the adoption of unfair methods or deceptive practices. reducing or otherwise controlling the production. The MRTP Act defines a MTP to be a trade practice. c) limiting technical development or capital investment to the common detriment or allowing the quality of any goods produced. d) increasing unreasonably – (i) the cost of production of any good.

supply or distribution of any goods or services. within a time frame as stipulated by the Central Government. Under the Act. II. supply. Assigning of Minimum Price Any clause or term or condition in a contract for the sale of goods by a person to a wholesaler or retailer or agreement between a person and wholesaler or retailer or relating to the sale of goods would be void if it either assigns or provides for the assignment of a minimum price to be charged upon the resale of goods in India. It is to be noted that the resale price maintenance is not applicable to supply of services. or control of any goods or services by an undertaking and fixing the terms of their sale (including prices) or supply. distribution or control of any goods or services. The MRTP commission has the power to inquire into the trade practice and if concludes that the trade practice is actually a MTP and is operating or is likely to operate against public interest. supply. the Central Government could: a) Prohibit the continuation of the MTP completely. a price which as stated or calculated could be understood to be a minimum price to be charged upon resale of the goods in India. . distribution.practice has been expressly authorized by law or the Central Government permits the carrying on of such practice. storage. there is also no prohibition on the assigning of a maximum price at which goods may be sold. f) Require either or all of the parties to any specified agreement to terminate the agreement either in whole or in part. A supplier of goods who either directly or through any person or association of persons acting on his behalf is prohibited from either requiring its dealers or otherwise publishing in respect of any goods. storage. the Central Government has the power to require the person indulging in the trade practice to remedy the trade practice either completely or to the extent required by the Central Government. As a result. or h) Regulate the quality standards to be maintained for any goods or services. or c) Prohibit any act or practice or commercial policy which prevents or could reduce the competition in the production. or d) Fix the standards for the usage or production of the goods. or b) Regulate the manner of production. e) Declare as unlawful the execution or implementation of any specified agreement. Resale Price: The MRTP Act also provides for measures controlling/prohibiting the resale price for the sale or supply of goods in certain circumstances. storage. or g) Regulate the making or manner of utilization of profits as derived from the production.

com/india/news/toothless-mrtp-is-laid-torest/369990/ From September 1. a vital element in an open economy which aspires to be a global major. or c) a reduction or cessation of the necessary after sale service of the goods http://www. The repeal provision itself. this provision would not affect the term or conditions of a license granted by owner or licensor of any patent or trademark or for any assignment of the same. other than in genuine seasonal or clearance sale which is not for the purpose of making a profit on the resale of the goods. and the Commission will not accept fresh filings. (Section 66) actually had to be amended as the intent of transfer to the Competition Commission could not be effected. but for the purpose of attracting to his concern (where the goods are being sold). these cases will be taken up by the Competition Appellate Tribunal and disposed of.html http://www. which would include articles made by a patented process and articles made under a trade mark. the supplier could withhold supplies of the goods to any wholesaler or retailer or to cause or require other supplier to also withhold supplies. so far as it regulates the price at which the article may be sold by the licensee or assignee. Other Measures A supplier is not entitled to withhold the supply of any goods from any wholesaler or retailer who is seeking to obtain them for resale in India on the ground that such wholesaler or retailer has sold or is likely to sell the goods in India at a price which is below the resale price of the goods obtained from such supplier. except for the “Unfair Trade Practices” which stand transferred to the National Commission. By now all readers are aware of the roadblocks involved.tax4india. if not disposed of. However. the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act 1969 has been laid to rest. Amendments to the Competition Act 2002. either directly or indirectly. customers who would be likely to purchase other goods or for the purpose of advertising his business. the MRTP Commission can exempt goods of any class from the applicable prohibition or regulation for resale prices if the Commission is satisfied that the prohibition or regulation of such resale price would result in the detriment to the consumers by either: a) a reduction in the quality of the goods. or b) a increase in the price of the has been or is reselling any goods of the same or a similar description whether obtained from that supplier or not. However. The new section 66 envisages a twilight zone of two years. to a third party who has sold or is likely to sell the goods in India at a price which is below the resale price of the goods obtained from such www. if he has reasonable cause to believe that the wholesaler or the retailer. being various court cases. and its slow passage in the Houses of Parliament delayed the introduction of an effective anti trust law. with challenges to the appointment of the chairperson. Upon any person making an application to the MRTP Commission. the status of pending cases and existing employees. At the end of two years. .Such a prohibition is also applicable to patented articles. or the wholesaler or retailer has supplied or is likely to supply such goods.

ANSAC.Also Read Related Stories News Now - MRTPC to be wound up in two years MRTP panel dissolution by Sept 1: Khurshid MRTPC still in existence CCI to put large M&As on automatic route Competition watchdog operational from today Failed messages ring the alarm bell at MRTPC The MRTP Act was enacted in an era when the Government was on a populist high. Yet looking back. even if misplaced. The ANSAC name is historically synonymous with cartelisation. The MRTPC’s failure in curbing cartels is attributed to its toothless character. So what went wrong? The Act had three major areas of operation – concentration of economic power. One recalls how ingenuous structures were devised for the large industrial houses in order to provide firewalls between their diverse holdings and not run foul of the scope of “interconnectivity” under Section 27A. and in 1991. This can be only dispelled if the Competition Commission lives upto the expectations generated. The Statement of Objects & Reasons of the Act which borrowed heavily from the UK Restrictive Trade Practices Act. Parties appealed against MRTP’s injunction to the Supreme Court. 1956. while private businesses stagnated. And the protraction of life span of the Commission coupled with the contentious exit has left a deep sense of disenchantment . To be fair. the provisions relating to dominance were dropped as an admission of obsolescence. and this jurisdiction was subsequently enlarged to include unfair trade practices. which was set aside on the ground of absence of jurisdiction. and the economy subjected to rampant nationalisations and the Licence Raj. The Commission found evidence of predatory pricing. the intentions were sincere.even the twilight zone of two years seems unduly prolonged. The MRTPC’s mandate was to enquire into the extent and effect of concentration of economic power in private hands. winding up et al. while the absence of extra-territorial jurisdiction. Many of India’s finest arguing counsels have perfected their advocacy skills before this forum. dominance was one such — the MRTPC was vested with absolute powers to prevent expansion. The Act underwent several amendments. clearly it also indicated the need not just for an effective law but alsoa regime capable of dealing with cartel investigation and a proper redressal mechanism. It is worthwhile to mention that the MRTPC relied on the orders of the EU (as it was then) in ANSAC cartel case. i. on a plain reading. effective operators and others outside the circle of the cartel. The problem may well be at the point of time this law was promulgated. the objectives were and are still meaningful in the current context. The MRTPC continued to inquire into monopolistic and restrictive trade practices.. even though the cartel was formed outside India and had faced anti-trust action in other jurisdictions. acquisitions. the MRTPC was one the first quasi judicial bodies and a vibrant one at that. with extremely capable persons at its helm. provided that the law was intended to prevent concentration of economic power to the common detriment and to prohibit monopolistic and restrictive trade practices prejudicial to public interest. Kumkum Sen is a Partner at Rajinder Narain & Co. So the public sector monopolies grew.e. The MRTPC assumed jurisdiction under Section 14 of the Act. While this operated at that point of time in the interest of foreign parties. The “cease and desist” orders were enforceable only through courts. and imposed an interim injunction restraining imports. transfers of assets and shares. MRTPC’s best intentions stood frustrated in this case in which the member body representing the Indian soda ash producers alleging infringement of several sections of the Act sought restraint order of the same products being exported to India by a cartelised group of foreign manufacturers. critical for according recognition to the “effects” doctrine arising out of cross border anti competitive practices. . which should give the required relief to customers. made a mockery of such complaints as demonstrated in the ANSAC case.

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