CCI to tweak rules to ease merger and acquisition process

Experts are already working on a fresh set of regulations which is expected to be put in place by the end of December

The Dollar Business Bureau

Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) will soon come out with changes in its rules to ease the process of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and reduce the time for clearing such deals to 30 days. Experts are already working on a fresh set of regulations which is expected to be put in place by the end of December. “We are actively and quickly reviewing regulations, we have called for comments from some of the law firms which have been filing with us and I think before this year ends, which is in the next few days and 2016 starts, we will make further changes on things which have been bothering companies in terms of authorised signatories, invalidation of notices, which has become a matter of concern,” said CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla. Chawla while addressing the National Summit on Mergers & Acquisitions organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), said the changes are being made with an aim to make the process as user-friendly as possible. “These are minor nuts and bolts issues but they are very important from the point of view of the stakeholders,” he said, adding that the changes will be finalised before the end of the month. Expressing concerns over the delay in approval due to rise in number of applications and dearth of professionals, Chawla said that simple cases should be cleared expeditiously. “The discipline is that we should clear it in 30 working days, but if you take the total time taken without taking into account clock stop and others, average time taken is about 50-60 days, which according to the Commission is on a higher side, we want to reduce it and try and bring back majority of the cases to within actually 30 days,” the CCI chief said. He also advised the industry and corporates, particularly the multinational companies to file applications online. The CCI has approved 322 cases out of the total 355 cases that have come up during June 2011 and December 2015. Chawla said that in less than even one per cent of the 355 cases, the CCI felt the need to go into detailed scrutiny. He also said that the number of filings have been going up steadily as from 45 in 2013 it had almost doubled to 88 in 2014 and in 2015, till a few days ago it was 117 already. This year, October saw the highest number of filings - 21. A majority of proposals are relatively simpler cases of routine consolidation, sale of shares, intra-group restructuring and others. “So basically the increase is a proxy for improved business climate and the need for consolidation, it will also help in an important way in the overall march towards greater competitiveness of the economy which is extremely important for ‘Make in India,’ programme and policy which the government is pursuing,” Chawla added.  

December 18, 2015  | 01:55pm IST

The Dollar Business Bureau - Dec 19, 2015 12:00 IST