M&A deals: CCI to assist companies

To make compliance process more easier for companies, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) plans to provide assistance in "substantiative" matters pertaining to mergers and acquisitions.

Companies entering into combinations or mergers and acquisitions have to seek CCI approval, since it has the mandate to keep tabs on unfair trade practices.

CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla on Saturday said the commission plans to help companies involved in combinations with regard to substantiative matters. "We are looking at the next stage where our officers will look at the substantiative issues (related to combinations)," he said.

At present, companies can avail facility of informal and verbal consultations with CCI staff prior to filing notice on a proposed combination. However, such interactions are now restricted to procedural aspects.

According to Chawla, the opinions expressed during consultations on "substantiative matters" related to combinations would not be binding on the parties.

Besides, the regulator is looking at the possibility of tweaking guidelinesfor M&As after having discussions with various stakeholders.

So far, the Commission has approved about 160 combinations.

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