CCI Considers Fees for Miscellaneous Applications

The amendments proposed to the Competition Commission of India (General) Regulations, 2009, seek to impose a fee for filing miscellaneous applications which can be as high as Rs.3 Lakh for companies with turnover exceeding Rs.50 Crore in the preceding year.

Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002, empowers the Commission to inquire into any alleged contravention of the provisions pertaining to anti-competitive agreements under Section 3(1) or abuse of dominant position under Section 4(1) on receipt of information from any person, consumer or their association or trade association. Such information has to be accompanied by the fee as prescribed under Regulation 49(1). Slight changes to this fee have been suggested.

Earlier this year, the 2009 Regulations were amended to impose a fee on the filing of interlocutory applications. This particular provision, Regulation 49(1A), remains unchanged in the present draft. In a bid to further curtail frivolous applications, the CCI plans to impose fees for miscellaneous applications as well. The fee sought to be imposed is considerably higher than those applicable for interlocutory applications. In fact, it is almost 50% of the fee applicable for filing information under Section 19(1)(a). For instance, if a company with a turnover not exceeding Rs.2 Crore in the previous year were to file information under said Section, a fee of Rs.50,000 has to be paid. Such a company would have to pay Rs.25,000 for filing a miscellaneous application in the case.

Other significant changes proposed include the requirement of an affidavit for filing information, prohibition on making filings on letterheads, revisions in the procedure for inquiry under Section 29, appointment of agencies for monitoring the implementation of CCI orders, etc.

The concerned stakeholders have time till July 8 to submit their comments on the draft amendments.