Competition / Antitrust

Comprehensive competition law advice

We advise large global and Indian corporations on all aspects of competition law including merger control, cartel investigations and leniencies, anti competitive agreements, abuse of dominance, general competition advisory and compliance and audit work. We regularly appear before the Competition Commission of India, the Director General and various judicial forums including the appellate tribunal and the Supreme Court.

Our merger control practice is hugely complementary to our other practice areas. Given our roster of blue chip international clients and our deal flow, we have been regularly involved in some of the most significant merger control filings made with the Competition Commission of India. We worked on the country’s first two “long form” merger filings and one of the first “Green Channel” approvals.

On the enforcement side, we handle the entire spectrum of behavioural work and are recognised for finding strategic solutions to complex antitrust issues. We have advised clients across several sectors including automobiles, cement, steel, metals, railways, alcoholic beverages, consumer goods, entertainment and digital and technology sectors.  As a result of repeatedly and primarily advising international clients on cross-border transactions over the last several years, our skill set in evaluating risk for international clients in dealing with Indian regulators is quite unique.

Our competition team draws on the significant experience of Vinod Dhall. The first member and Acting Chairman of the Competition Commission of India, he is a respected expert in competition policy and law, sought out for his high-level strategic advice, maturity and pragmatic approach. He has held very senior positions in the Government at policy and executive levels.

“Noted expertise in merger control matters, particularly larger transactions requiring ‘long form’ notifications, now coupled with an enhanced enforcement capability. Regularly acts for blue-chip multinationals, including household names from the transport, beverage, electrical and energy industries, on their Indian competition law requirements, notably including the evaluation of regulatory risk. Also advises on client interactions with the CCI and other regulatory bodies. Well practised in advising on cartel and abuse of dominance investigations.”

– Chambers and Partners, 2021

Representative transactions

Merger control

We have acted for:

  • A leading sovereign wealth fund, advising and obtaining merger control clearance in relation to its proposed investment in an Indian airports operator. This was amongst the first green channel filings in India.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of SABMiller plc.
  • BASF SE, advising and obtaining purchaser approval for its acquisition of certain divestment businesses and assets from Bayer AG, in the context of the CCI’s divestment order in the Monsanto Company’s merger with Bayer AG.
  • BG Group, advising and obtaining merger control clearance in relation to its acquisition by Royal Dutch Shell plc and in relation to the sale of its entire shareholding in Gujarat Gas Company Limited to Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of the animal health business of Sanofi and the sale of its consumer health care business to Sanofi.
  • BP, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of shares in an entity owned by the Reliance group.
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, advising on merger control requirements in India with respect to the proposed sale of its entire stake in Bombardier Transportation (Investment) UK Limited to Alstom S.A., and the subsequent acquisition of a minority stake in Alstom S.A.
  • Danone, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of the nutrition business of Wockhardt Group.
  • Diageo Group, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of control over United Spirits Limited.
  • FMC Corporation, obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of control over Cheminova A/S.
  • HDFC Limited, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company and the subsequent merger of Apollo Munich into HDFC Ergo.
  • Lanxess and Saudi Aramco, advising and obtaining merger control clearance in relation to their joint venture.
  • Merck KGaA for obtaining the merger control clearance in relation to the sale of its consumer healthcare business to Procter & Gamble.
  • Mylan Inc. advising and obtaining merger control clearance in relation to its acquisition of Strides Arcolab Limited’s multi-jurisdictional specialty pharmaceuticals and generic injectable business.
  • Siemens AG, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its aborted global strategic combination of Alstom SA and Siemens AG’s mobility business.
  • Tencent, advising and obtaining merger control clearance for its investment in Flipkart and in Ola Cabs.

Competition / Antitrust

We have:

  • Acted for a leading global auto-parts company in relation to an ongoing cartel investigation.
  • Conducted an extensive antitrust compliance audit into a leading global cement company’s Indian subsidiaries and suggested mitigating steps.
  • Advised a leniency applicant (individual) in relation to a cartel investigation in the beer sector.
  • Advised a leniency applicant in relation to a cartel investigation in the railways sector.
  • Advised a leniency applicant in relation to a cartel investigation in the conveyor belt sector.
  • Advised Reliance Industries Limited in relation to discount policies with respect to its petrochemicals business and suggested remedial measures.
  • Conducted an antitrust compliance audit into the affairs of certain Indian subsidiaries of the 3M Company and suggested mitigating steps.
  • Advised Whirlpool of India Limited in relation to antitrust compliance with respect to their joint venture with Elica S.p.A. and their distributor relationships.
  • Advised in relation to a cartel in the metals sector.