Gauri Chhabra

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
Lawyer (Partner)

Gauri Chhabra is a Partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. She is a law graduate from Amity Law School, Delhi and has completed her Masters in Competition Law from New York University School of Law. Gauri has also worked at the Attorney General’s Office, Antitrust Bureau, New York. Gauri has handled and worked on complex competition law matters, involving innovative solution-oriented structuring and advice, on a full range of competition matters, including cartel enforcement, abuse of dominance, merger control, competition audit and compliance trainings. She has represented Indian and multinational clients across sectors, such as financial services, cement, airlines, steel and manufacturing, before the CCI. Gauri has extensive experience in preparing merger filings and has obtained clearances in all the merger notifications filed with the CCI. She was also part of the 2 out of the total of 4 Form II merger notifications filed with the CCI to date. She renders competition compliance services for clients, which include providing customised competition audits, training staff and manager-level officials, preparing customised compliance manuals and providing dawn raid training and manual. She has also worked closely with the CCI on the development of the merger control regime in India as part of the “Law Firm Working Group”, constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Gauri has written various publications on competition law, including “India’s New Competition Regime Steadily Gaining Ground”, for Competition Law International (Antitrust Journal of International Bar Association), April 2013; India chapter in the ‘The Cartels and Leniency Review’, 1st Edition, Law Business Research Limited, February 2013; India chapters on anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominance and merger control for the BRICS book on competition law for International Bar Association, Kluwer Publication, 2012.

Linked authors

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Freshworks (Chennai)

Articles

8946 Bulletin

Pallavi Shroff, Harman Singh Sandhu, Yaman Verma, John Handoll, Manika Brar, Rohan Arora, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Aparna Mehra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Gauri Chhabra The Indian Competition Authority holds a roundup covering the main developments of the past two months

15

Indian Competition Law Roundup: April-May 2020* In this Roundup, we highlight the main developments in Indian competition law in April and May 2020. The COVID-19 Response The CCI is Open for Business As stated in our April update on ‘Indian Competition Law and COVID-19’, the Competition (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority extends its office closure and suspension of hearing all non-urgent cases in line with the Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak

232

On 17 March, the CCI decided to adjourn all but urgent matters listed for hearing until 31 March 2020. A week later, on 23 March, it suspended: (a) all filings in relation to Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act (anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position); (b) all (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs notifies the draft Competition Bill 2020 which reflects the recommendations made by the Competition Law review committee

267

Last week, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) notified the Draft Competition (Amendment) Bill 2020 (Draft Bill). The proposed changes reflect recommendations made by the Competition Law Review Committee (CLRC) in July 2019. Public comments may be made until 6 March 2020. The 49 page Draft (...)

Shweta Shroff Chopra, Manika Brar, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority closes a case of alleged abuse of dominance by the Indian state broadcaster and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (Next Radio / Prasar Bharti / Ministry of Information and Broadcasting)

302

The CCI closed a case of alleged abuse of dominance by Indian state broadcaster Prasar Bharti and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (Opposite Parties). Two private broadcasters complained that the Opposite Parties had abused their dominance in the market for the provision of (...)

Manika Brar, Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Naval Satarawala Chopra, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority dismisses a complaint by a fintech company for becoming dominant in the market after purchasing a technology provider in the financial services industry (Satyen Narendra Bajaj / PayU)

314

It is trite law that, while the Competition Act prohibits an abuse of a dominant position, the mere existence of a dominant position with no evidence of abuse is not prohibited. This was made clear by the CCI in dismissing a complaint that PayU, a fintech company that provides payment (...)

Manika Brar, Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Naval Satarawala Chopra, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Rohan Arora, Yaman Verma The Indian Competition Authority opens an investigation into allegations that a paint sector undertaking threatened anticompetitive actions against dealers who sought to partner with the complainant (JSW Paints / Asian Paints)

113

The CCI directed the DG to investigate allegations that Asian Paints had abused its dominant position in decorative paints by threatening dealers who sought to partner with the complainant, JSW Paints. The CCI found prima facie that Asian Paints was dominant given its above 50% market share in (...)

Manika Brar, Pallavi Shroff, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority directs an investigation into allegations of anti-competitive agreements between e-commerce marketplaces (Amazon & Flipkart)

168

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has directed an investigation into allegations of anti-competitive agreements between e-commerce marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart, on the one hand, and sellers on these marketplaces, on the other. A Delhi based traders’ body alleged that Amazon and (...)

Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Harman Singh Sandhu, John Handoll, Manika Brar, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority publishes a report on its market study on e-Commerce in India and focuses on the three broad categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services, and food services

143

The CCI published a report on its Market Study on E-Commerce in India. The Study focused on the three broad categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services and food services. After giving an overview of trends in and features of e-commerce, the CCI identified and discussed (...)

Rohan Arora, Yaman Verma, Gauri Chhabra, Aparna Mehra, Manika Brar, Harman Singh Sandhu, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, John Handoll, Pallavi Shroff The Indian Competition Authority invites public comments on a proposed amendment to the Combination Regulations relating to the acquisition of shares pursuant to a public bid or a stock exchange

355

The CCI invited public comments on a proposed amendment to the Combination Regulations relating to the acquisition of shares pursuant to a public bid or on a stock exchange. At present, such an acquisition cannot, where it qualifies as a notifiable transaction, be completed until CCI clearance (...)

Manika Brar, Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Naval Satarawala Chopra, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority imposes a penalty on an undertaking which only notified the first acquisition of an energy company without doing so for the subsequent acquisitions (CPPIB / ReNew Power)

39

Where a transaction qualifies as a notifiable combination, the notifying party/parties must also notify any inter- connected transactions, even where they are not in themselves notifiable. Failure to do so can result in penalties under Section 43A of the Competition Act for failure to notify. (...)

Manika Brar, Pallavi Shroff, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Rohan Arora, Yaman Verma The Indian Competition Authority clears an acquisition by automobile manufacturers of small shareholdings in a ride-sharing company (ANI / OLA)

44

The CCI cleared the proposed acquisition by automobile manufacturers Hyundai and Kia of small shareholdings in ride-sharing company ANI Technologies (ANI/OLA) and its electrical vehicles arm, Ola Electric Mobility (OEMPL), together with strategic cooperation in various areas. The CCI (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Delhi High Court holds that the Director General of the CCI has broad powers of investigation (Grasim / CCI)

76

In its Judgment in the Grasim case, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court held that the DG had broad powers of investigation going beyond the specific subject matter of the CCI’s prima facie order directing an investigation. In June 2011, the CCI had passed an order under Section 26(1), (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Delhi High Court dismisses a writ petition challenging demand notices issues by the Competition Authority relating to the interest payment of the penalties imposed (United India Insurance)

76

The Delhi High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by United India Insurance Company challenging demand notices issued by the CCI requiring payment of interest on penalties imposed by the CCI which were the subject of a stay order by the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) hearing an (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Supreme Court requests the Competition Authority’s Director General to continue the investigation allegations relating the abuse of dominance in the radio taxis sector (Uber)

63

Deciding on an appeal from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), the Supreme Court requested the Director General, CCI (DG) to continue investigating allegations relating to abuse of dominance by Uber in the National Capital Region (NCR). In considering whether the Competition (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Commission clears merger of health insurer (Apollo Munich / HDFC ERGO)

53

The CCI cleared the proposed merger of health insurer Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company (Apollo Munich) into HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company (HDFC ERGO). HDFC ERGO is a joint venture between HDFC and ERGO International AG. The CCI found that Apollo Munich and the HDFC Group overlapped (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Competition Commission of India issues regulatory changes to the merger notification procedure

601

In a welcome move, on 13 August 2019, amendments to the Combination Regulations were published in The Gazette of India. With effect from 15 August 2019 (India’s Independence Day), parties to notifiable acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations (collectively referred to as “combinations”) will, if (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority rejects a complaint according to which an online booking accommodation provider abused of its dominant position (RKG / OYO)

548

In a case with important implications for the budget hotel sector, the CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by RKG Hospitality, a hotelier, that Oravel Stays (OYO), which provides budget accommodation through online booking, had abused its dominant position by imposing one-sided, (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority dismisses claim submitted against a leading insurance company and closes the case at prima facie stage (Indian Chemical Council / General Insurance Corporation of India)

458

The CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by the Indian Chemical Council (ICC) that a leading reinsurer, the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC), had abused its dominant position. The ICC alleged that GIC was, with its very high market share, dominant in the overall (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Competition Commission of India finds no collusion of multiplex cinema operators and their association (Unilazer / VPF)

349

The CCI rejected at prima facie stage a complaint by Unilazer Ventures (Unilazer), a film content creation company, that a number of multiplex cinema operators and their association had colluded in relation to the imposition of a Virtual Print Fee (VPF), revenue sharing arrangements, delays in (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The High Court of Delhi rules that proceedings and orders passed by the Competition Commission of India cannot be invalidated by way of constitutional defects (Cadd)

272

In April 2019, a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi had declared two provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 unconstitutional and void. All other provisions of the Competition Act were held to be valid subject to a number of orders including that “the Central Government shall take (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority finds that an association of medicine dealers has collected charges that are illegal under national competition law (Jalgaon District Medicine Dealers Association)

247

In a case against the Jalgaon District Medicine Dealers Association (Association), the CCI found that the Association had collected Product Information Service (PIS) charges from manufacturers of pharmaceutical products. The CCI found that payment of the PIS charges was mandatory and, (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Competition Commission of India clears a minority shareholdings acquisition in the financial industry after the merger notification is submitted due to board seat (Kedaara / Ajax)

126

The CCI cleared the acquisition by Kedaara Capital Fund (Kedaara), a private equity fund, of an approximately 7.98% stake in Ajax Engineering (Ajax), a manufacturer of concreting equipment. Since there were no horizontal overlaps or vertical relationships, the CCI concluded that the proposed (...)

Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Rohan Arora, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Aparna Mehra, Manika Brar, Harman Singh Sandhu, Naval Satarawala Chopra, John Handoll The Indian Competition Authority finds the distribution arrangments of a supplier of mobile handsets to be prima facie compliant with national law (Vivo)

225

The CCI closed at prima facie stage a case against Vivo Mobile (Vivo), a supplier of mobile handsets, finding that its distribution arrangements raised no concerns under Section 3(4) of the Competition Act which prohibits vertical agreements with an appreciable adverse effect on competition (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Commission finds that chemist associations and pharmaceutical companies had engaged in a system of no-objection certificates under which the associations prescribed which stockist could stock a company’s products

130

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that two chemist associations and two pharmaceutical companies had engaged in a system of no-objection certificates (NOC) under which the associations prescribed which stockist could stock a company’s products.1 The associations and certain of (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Gauri Chhabra The Competition Commission of India finds two chemist associations and two pharmaceutical companies to have used no-objection certificates (Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Distributors Federation / Madhya Pradesh Chemists and Druggist Association)

483

India Competition Law Roundup: June 2019 The Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that two chemist associations and two pharmaceutical companies had engaged in a system of no-objection certificates (NOC) under which the associations prescribed which stockist could stock a company’s (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Competition Commission of India clears joint venture between two healthcare companies after deciding it cannot result in any anticompetitive effects (GlaxoSmithKline / Pfizer)

103

The CCI cleared the proposal by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to combine their global consumer healthcare businesses into a joint venture. The CCI considered overlaps in three product segments; non-narcotics/anti-pyretics, antacids/anti-flatulents and calcium preparations. In all three segments (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, in the electricity market (Larsen & Toubro/Schneider Electric)

85

The CCI cleared the proposed acquisition of the electrical and automation business of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) by Schneider Electric and MacRitchie Investments (the Acquirers) on foot of a package of behavioural remedies proposed by the Acquirers. After a lengthy investigation, the CCI (...)

Pallavi Shroff, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian Competition Authority finds that a company abused its dominant position by requiring device manufacturers wishing to pre-install apps to adhere to a compatibility standard (Google Android)

132

Following a complaint made by a number of users of smartphones using the Android operating system, the CCI prima facie found that Google was dominant in the market for licensable smart mobile device operating systems in India and had abused its dominant position by requiring device (...)

Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra, John Handoll, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Harman Singh Sandhu, Manika Brar, Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Yaman Verma, Rohan Arora The Indian High Court in Delhi interprets national Competition Act which criminalises non-compliance with directions or orders (Rajasthan Cylinders)

35

In March 2019, the Delhi High Court interpreted Section 42(3) of the Competition Act, which criminalises non-compliance with orders or directions, to cover directions issued by the Director General (DG). The High Court also rejected arguments that to allow criminal proceedings under Section (...)

Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Harman Singh Sandhu, John Handoll, Manika Brar, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra The Indian Competition Authority holds that information exchange is not a standalone violation of the Indian Competition Act (Flashlights cartel)

562

On 6 November 2018, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) found that four manufacturers/traders of flashlights and their trade association (the Opposite Parties) were not involved in cartelisation as, despite an information exchange, there was not enough corroborating evidence to suggest a (...)

Aparna Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Harman Singh Sandhu, John Handoll, Manika Brar, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Pallavi Shroff, Shweta Shroff Chopra The Indian Competition Authority conditionally clears a merger in the agrochemicals and seeds industry (Bayer / Monsanto)

566

In an order dated 14 June 2018, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved Bayer AG’s (Bayer) acquisition of Monsanto Company (Monsanto) (together, the Parties) subject to certain modifications. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. represented Monsanto and assisted in seeking the CCI’s (...)

Manika Brar, Pallavi Shroff, Naval Satarawala Chopra, Shweta Shroff Chopra, John Handoll, Harman Singh Sandhu, Pranav Mehra, Gauri Chhabra, Rohan Arora, Yaman Verma The Indian Competition Authority closes a case against an undertaking after finding that it was not dominant in the Indian market for a particular power quality product (InPhase Power Technologies / ABB)

22

The CCI closed a case against ABB India (ABB) finding that it was not dominant in the Indian market for a particular power quality product, specifically “IGBT based PQS for less than 1kV usage in India”. InPhase, a manufacturer of power quality and power conversion systems, had alleged that ABB (...)

Gauri Chhabra, Suhail Nathani The Indian Competition Authority directs a company to file a merger notification following several minority stakes acquisitions (Piramal)

100

Introduction The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) directed Piramal Enterprises Limited (“Piramal”) to file a notice pursuant to Section 20(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”), read with Regulation 8 of the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to transaction of business (...)

Gauri Chhabra, Suhail Nathani The Competition Commission of India approves an acquisition pursuant to a shareholders Agreement (Zuari / Mangalore Fertilisers)

118

Introduction The Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) has approved the acquisition of Zuari Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (“ZFCL”); and (b) Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited (“ZACL”), together referred to as the “Acquirers”, in Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited (“MCFL”), pursuant to a (...)

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