Competition law has been introduced in India in order to protect consumers from anti-competitive business practices by ensuring that fair competition exists in an open market economy. ‘Consumer welfare’ is the primary aim and objective of the said piece of legislation. ‘Competition’ implies the rivalry or contest between competitors in a market in order to secure more business of the customers. Competition Law ensures that competition in the market is free and fair and that such business practices which aim to restrict, prevent or distort competition are prohibited and punished.
As a result of the opening up of the Indian economy through economic liberalization in the 90’s, Indian market faced competition from inside and outside the country. A need was felt for a strong piece of legislation to ensure that the competition in the market was fair and beneficial to the consumers of the country. Hence, the Competition Act, 2002 was enacted. The said Act replaced the old law i.e. the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. The reason for the same being that due to the economic reforms introduced in the country, the MRTP legislation was found to be outdated in various aspects and a need was felt for a new stronger legislation in India which was more in tune with the changing economic scenario. Furthermore, the Competition Commission of India which is a quasi judicial body has been established for the enforcement of Competition law in India. All matters pertaining to ‘Competition’ in the market shall be dealt exclusively by the Competition Commission of India.
Competition law would prove to be one of the most beneficial pieces of legislation for the Indian consumers in the times to come. it would ensure that the prices that the consumers are required to pay for products & services are competitive prices and not prices that have been artificially kept at levels above the competitive prices through anti-competitive practices. Competition law would also help Indian entrepreneurs have an opportunity to compete in the market economy in a fair and free manner and not be discouraged by players already in the relevant market through various exploitative and exclusionary practices.