Competition Law

Competition Law

What is Competition Law

Competition law is a specialisation course which is offered to the students at the postgraduate level. It is the study of practices that regulates free trading and also checks unfair competition between two business entities. Competition law also bans abusive behaviour of firms which tend to control the market inappropriately. Competition law is a form of regulation which promotes fair competition in markets by controlling anti-competitive conducts. The law is divided into 2 categories- Antitrust and Merger Control.

Competition law started in the form of the Competition Act, 2002 which came into light in 2003. The Competition Commission of India is the judicial body that enforces the provision of this act.

With the growing market, competition law is gaining popularity now. Those willing to go for competition law specialisation can take LLM programmes or opt for certificate or diploma courses. They can even pursue an MA in business law while specialising in competition law. This course includes topics like introduction to competition law and policy in India, merger control, anti-competitive agreements, global experience, the evolution of competition law and policy, dominant positions, and economic theories etc. Many well-known colleges across India offer admission to competition law courses through entrance examinations either conducted by them or by a central body.

Competition Law: Degrees and Levels 

Diploma level (5 weeks) - Any graduate, practising lawyers and students of 1st year LLB onwards can pursue this course. ILS Law College, Pune offers this diploma.

Post-graduate level (2-year courses) - Post Graduation is for 2 years. Institutes that offer this degree are:

  1. ILS Law College, Pune

  2. The West Bengal National University, Kolkata or NLU Kolkata (NUJS)

  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Dual degree (5-year course)- This integrated course is provided by the National School of Law University which is of 5 years with an internship in between.


Minimum and Maximum Duration of Competition Law Course

The course duration for an integrated programme of competition law is 60 months. Students who opt for post-graduation after that have to study for 2 more years. The maximum duration of the CL course thus stands at 7 years i.e. 84 months. 

Eligibility Criteria (UG & PG) of Competition Law

Eligibility criteria for graduation: Students must pass class 10+2 examination from a recognised board and score a minimum of 50% marks in the examination.

Eligibility criteria for post-graduation in competition law: For admission into a postgraduate course, the candidates must pass class 10+2 exam and graduation from a recognised board and university. Graduates in business law with specialisation in competition law get more preference than others. 


Admission Criteria for Competition Law Course

For getting admission into the CL course, one has to appear for entrance examinations and score the minimum cut off marks. In addition, they must score at least 50-55% in the last qualifying exam. For reserved category students, this percentage is lower. In the next section, each of the entrance examinations is mentioned.


Entrance Examinations for Competition Law Courses

There are different exams conducted by different universities or colleges and based on the performance of the students in these examinations, their selection will be done. Candidates who wish to pursue this course have to fill an online or offline exam form and appear for the exam. The common entrance tests are:

1.       Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology Joint Entrance Exam

2.       Telangana State Polytechnic Common Entrance Test

3.       Haryana Diploma Entrance Test Lateral

4.       All India Law Entrance Test (AILET)

5.       English and Foreign Languages University Entrance Test

6.       Law School Admission Test (LSAT India, International Level entrance test)

7.       All India Bar exam (AIBE)

8.       Lloyd Entrance Test(LET)

9.       All India Law Entrance Test (AILET, National Law University, Delhi)

10.   Army Institute of law B.A. LLB Entrance Test (AIL)

11.   Delhi University Law Entrance Exam

12.   AMU Law Entrance Exam

13.   Symbiosis Entrance Test(SET)

14.   Banaras Hindu University Undergraduate Entrance Test (BHU-UET)

15.   Bharati Vidyapeeth Common Entrance Test (BVP CET)

16. Andhra Pradesh Post Graduate Law Entrance Test

 

After the entrance exams are held, universities and colleges release their cut off percentage for the entrance exams for admission into a postgraduate programme in competition law. Admission is given to only those candidates who attain the cut off percentage and meet the university or college criteria along with other necessary requirements.


Fees and Expenses of Competition Law Courses 

Fees for this course can be different in different colleges and universities. The average fee of a competition law course is Rs.50, 000 per year.

Scope of Competition Law in India and Abroad

The scope of competition law is vast in India and abroad. Corporate law is a very powerful and all-round option in the field of law. Both the government sector as well as the private sector has a number of opportunities for CL degree holders and the demand is increasing day by day. A degree in this field may be rewarding in future.

CCI (Competition Commission of India) is the regulatory authority in India and has ample vacancies for different people with different degrees. This field is not restricted and has vast opportunities among the various fields of law.

Competition law practices are largely concentrated in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. This is due to the location of Directorate General (DG), NCLAT & Supreme Court offices here. But in future Hyderabad, Bangalore will also become the destination for these aspirants when CCI branches open up in these cities.

Multinational companies are now looking for expanding their businesses globally, and so, they are in need of competition law experts. Thus, the demand is quite high in the first world countries like the USA, the UK, other European countries etc. 

Course Subjects

Each institute has its own rules and regulations regarding the choice of course subjects and therefore, they vary in different institutes. A few key topics or subjects taught in a competition law course are:

  • Competition law and policy

  • Dominant position

  • Substantive provisions of the Indian competition act

  • Introduction to Competition law and policy in India

  • Introduction to competition policy and law

  • Predatory pricing

  • Anti-competitive agreements

  • Emerging Issues in competition law in India

  • Markets and competition

  • The interface between competition commission and sector regulators

  • Introduction to economic concepts

  • Cartels

  • Regulation of combinations

  • Introduction to business laws in India

  • Relevant market

  • Evolution of competition law & policy: the global experience

  • Evolution of competition law and policy

  • Merger control

  • Abuse of dominance

  • Indian Competition Act - substantive provisions

  • The interface between competition law and business strategy

  • Salient features of the Indian Competition Act/ Jurisdictions

Careers in Competition Law

After completing a competition law course there are a lot of jobs available in the market like competition lawyer, individual practitioner, legal advisor, legal assistant, law officer, policymaker, business lawyer, market advisor, and managers etc. The candidates can find work in

  1. Tier 1 & 2 law firms

  2. Many people, after completing competition law courses, work as independent practitioners or under other established lawyers.

  3. Working with senior advocates is a good opportunity for those who want a recommendation letter to practice even abroad.

  4. Faculty positions are also available in colleges and universities.

  5. In big companies, individuals having competition law degrees get hired as top-level executives like chief executive officers. Some even join the Board as director. 


In the later section, each of the job profiles commonly available after completing a course in competition law is described in detail.

Job Profiles and Top Recruiters

The job profiles as offered by the top recruiters of lawyers in the country are mentioned below:

Lawyers at law firms: When one joins tier-1 and tier-2 law firms as lawyers, he/she is responsible for acquisitions, amalgamations and mergers and other such transactions. Competition lawyers’ team identifies if transactions require CCI approval. They have to file the short form or long-form II containing the details of the transactions.

Independent practitioner: As an independent practitioner one works on the enforcement matters which include information filing, defending corporations of medium sizes etc. They can also hire junior advocates who can gather experience in corporate and civil litigation also.

Senior advocates: They have to work with different law firms and their competition teams. Matters are argued upon by them. They also have juniors to assist them, draft the replies to various matters as briefed by other law firms and research various propositions.

Policy researcher: They are mainly involved in creating public awareness regarding various social issues that include environmental protection, crime prevention, access to healthcare etc.

Research associates: They are mainly associated with the Competition Commission of India or CCI. They draft the orders given by CCI on current matters. They also have to research in the preparation of the same. This way one gets the first-hand experience in the merger review process.

In-house department lawyers: Various companies and organisations are now coming up with strict policies regarding competition law proficiency. One has to be well-informed about violations of competition, privacy issues and data sharing.

Faculty in law colleges: One can always join law colleges across the country as faculty and impart knowledge to the next generation of aspirants who want to take up competition law as their career.

Some of the top recruiters of competition lawyers in India are: 

  • Tier 1 and 2 law firms

  • Google

  • Intel

  • Indian railways

  • CCI

  • Flipkart

  • OYO

  • Amazon

  • Vidhi Centre for Policy and Legal Research

  • CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition

  • Jindal Institute on IP and Competition

  • Facebook

  • Jindal Global Law School

  • NLSIU

  • Khaitan and Co.


Competition law is very different in the sense it protects and promotes fair competition in the market. It mainly acts as a balancing system between competitive forces and helps to preserve our socio-political and democratic institutions. Thus, economic goals like maintaining low commodity prices, high quality and self-reliance are achieved while guaranteeing consumer welfare. All these factors are interrelated. So, we can say that competition law is a medium of regulation for modern market needs and public interests without causing harm to anyone. A career in competition law can be highly rewarding and to achieve that, one needs to be hard-working and diligent. 

Required Skillset for Competition Law

Some key skills that are required for a successful career in competition law are as follows:

Good time management skills- Planning and organising how to manage time for different activities in a given period of time is important for achieving targets. It facilitates working smarter than harder.

Integrity- This is all about valuing other people by giving respect at the workplace. This is particularly helpful in teamwork.

Objectivity- This refers to the ability to stick to the organisational goals. Without this, the desired results cannot be achieved.

Confidence- Confidence in one's own thoughts and abilities, and to value oneself regardless of any imperfections or of what others feel about one is extremely important to get a particular job done.

Fluency in verbal communication- This skill is important as it ensures the delivery of information in a quick and understandable way. Thus the communication between a competition lawyer and the client becomes smoother.

Hard work- Long working hours is common in this field. Thus the aspirants have to work hard. They must also possess the flexibility to work in a group even beyond the stipulated time period.

Convincing power- It is important for enabling the organisation to reach the goals and also to convince the client regarding facts at hand or measures to take next.

Research skill- It is important for the aspirants to be able to evaluate, organise and use information with respect to research.

Good presentation skills- This skill helps the candidates to present information clearly and effectively to make it understandable to everyone.

Attention to details- Candidates must be attentive to the details of the clients’ needs. This way they can avail the targets as set before them. The rapport with the client is built successfully also.

Desire to learn- The aspirants must always be willing to learn new ways to grow in the current scenario.

Course Curriculum for Competition Law

The business law master degree programme with competition law as a specialisation has the following course curriculum:

  • Introduction to law and legal systems

  • Business structuring, accountancy & law taxation

  • Intellectual property, IT law and management

  • Commercial contracts, drafting & negotiation

  • Corporate governance and CSR

  • Competition law practice & enforcement in India

  • International and comparative competition law

  • Competition law & IP

  • Corporate finance, investment law & compliances

  • Business-centric dispute resolution


The course curriculum of diploma in competition law is as follows:

  • Competition law and policy

  • Anti-competitive agreements

  • Relevant market

  • Merger Control

  • Cartels

  • Predatory pricing

  • Dominant position


The course curriculum for diploma in competition policy and the law is:

  • Introduction to economic concepts

  • Evolution of competition law & policy: the global experience

  • Salient features of Indian Competition Act/ jurisdictions

  • Introduction to competition law & policy in India

  • Anticompetitive agreements

  • Introduction to business laws in India

  • Regulation of combinations

  • Abuse of dominance

  • The interface between competition law and business strategy

  • Emerging issues in competition law in India

  • The interface between competition commission and sector regulators

  • Evolution of competition law and policy

  • Markets and competition

  • Substantive provisions of the Indian Competition Act

  • Introduction to competition law and competition policy

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