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'Blockchain, algorithmic collusion challenges'

By Ruchika Chitravanshi
July 04, 2023 10:29 IST
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'Global coordination, convergence, market complexities and dynamics and cross-border enforcement compound the existing challenges we face.'

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

Addressing the pending cases is the "top priority" for the new chairperson of the Competition Commission of India, Ravneet Kaur, who took charge last month.

A 1988 batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, Kaur tells Ruchika Chitravanshi/Business Standard in an e-mail interview that areas like blockchain and algorithmic collusion are among the new challenges for the antitrust regulator.


What is your top priority as chairperson, especially since the CCI has a full quorum after many months now?

As the CCI chairperson, with the CCI now having a full quorum, my top priority is to address the pending cases related to antitrust and anti-profiteering.

I have already taken proactive steps to initiate action on these fronts.

Additionally, organising the 8th BRICS International Competition Conference in October 2023 is a significant priority for me. Successful execution of this conference will be a key focus.

Further, priorities may evolve over time based on the changing economic and regulatory landscape as well as specific challenges faced by the CCI.

How is the CCI progressing with the pending cases involving Big Tech?

Currently, the CCI has a number of pending cases related to Big Tech at various stages of investigation.

The time taken for investigations depends on the peculiarities and complexities involved in each case.

What is the status of discussions being undertaken by the digital competition committee?

The government has formed a committee on digital competition law, which is actively engaged in addressing this issue on a priority basis.

Many provisions of the new Competition Act have not been notified, including the definition of turnover or the settlement provision. Why is it so, and what is the CCI doing about it?

Several provisions of the new Competition Act require the establishment of rules, regulations, and procedures.

It is prudent to settle these before formally notifying the provisions of the law.

The CCI is closely collaborating with the ministry of corporate affairs to address these aspects.

What are some of the major challenges in the Indian market from the antitrust point of view?

From an antitrust perspective, the Indian market faces numerous challenges.

Effectively addressing these challenges necessitates robust enforcement and continuous monitoring of market dynamics.

The CCI plays a crucial role in countering these challenges and promoting fair competition.

In the past, we have examined issues such as dominance and potential abuses of big tech companies, data practices and privacy concerns, platform policies, and self-preferencing.

Additionally, we have scrutinised instances of market concentration leading to reduced competition in merger and acquisition activities.

While these challenges persist, new ones are emerging, including areas like blockchain and algorithmic collusion.

Global coordination, convergence, market complexities and dynamics and cross-border enforcement compound the existing challenges we face.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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Ruchika Chitravanshi
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