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Book review: Competition Act, 2002 : Principles and Practices ( 2nd Edition 2019) by Professor (Dr) VK Agarwal
Competition Act, 2002 : Principles and Practices ( 2nd Edition 2019) by Professor (Dr) VK Agarwal, Pro Chancellor, Jagan Nath University, Jaipur published by Bharat Law House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi – 110 083. Pages 1020. Price Rs. 2195.

Globalization as internationalization of Indianization needs opening up the economy, removing controls and supporting the liberalization and privatization. The natural corollary of this is that the Indian market should be geared up to face competition within and outside.

The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) has become outdated in the light of the international economic developments relating more particularly to competition laws and there was a need to shift our focus from curbing monopolies to promoting competition. The objective is to sustain competition culture in the nation for improving economic efficiency and maximization of public/consumer interest by free and fair competition amongst economic enterprises.

In view of the aforesaid background, the Competition Act, 2002 was enacted. The Act seeks to ensure fair competition by providing for – (i) prohibition of anti-competitive agreements; (ii) prohibition of abuse of dominance; (iii) regulation of combinations; and (iv) competition advocacy. The Competition Act repealed the MRTP Act and replaced the MRTP Commission with the Competition Commission of India.

The Competition Act has been on the statute book for more than seventeen years, but it has not received much attention from the academicians. There is very little published work treating the whole field in depth. The second edition ( first edition in 2011) of the  book focused on up-to-date statutory developments authored   by a renowned scholar of law Professor V.K. Agarwal who is my predecessor at the Jagan Nath University, Jaipur which has made a name with many healthy practices under his leadership is a matter of record.

The book is divided in three parts. The First Part of the book provides Introduction wherein he has discussed the philosophy of the subject along with the International developments. This part also enumerates the competition laws in outer countries, eg, US, Canada, UK, Australia, EEC, etc.

The Second Part of the book constitutes an exhaustive commentary on the provisions of the Competition Act. The synopsis of every section has been given on the top of the commentary to make it easy for reader to find out the topic he wants to study. The headings and sub-headings enhance the quality and utility of the book. The provisions of the Act have been subject to deep and intensive analysis. The categories of 'anti-competitive agreements' given in the Act have been examined and commented upon with the help of case-law available on the subject. The Act has been amended in 2007 and 2009. The effects of these Amendments have also been discussed in the text. This Act is the complex piece of legislation. While explaining the provisions, the author has not shied away from expressing his own view points in the area of doubt.

The commentary has been supplemented with the reference material not readily available elsewhere, which forms the Third Part of the book.

The book will have a broad appeal and to that end the author has sought to minimise legal and economic technicalities without sacrificing clarity and precision. The language used is simple and lucid.

The reviewer is of the considered opinion that the book is rich in contents and presentation by a reputed scholar and established name in the field of law education.

The cross-references given in the text are highly useful to the professionals. The printing and the cover of the book are of high quality. The book is an immensely useful possession for members of the legal profession, chartered accountants, company secretaries, economists and other stakeholders. It is equally important to the scholars and students of Law, Commerce, Economics, and Business Management. It deserves to be in the book shelf of institutional libraries and the libraries of the professionals.

The learned author deserves the credit of bringing out a high quality work on the subject of updated Competition Law which needed to be understood, analyzed and interpreted by the stakeholders including lawyers, practitioners, officials, courts, students and researchers. Of course, the book deserves to be translated in different Indian Languages.

*The reviewer is Vice Chancellor, Jagan Nath University, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

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