Derogation from Standstill Obligation in Merger Control Regime of India: A Desirable Change?​

Aastha Agarwalla
Campus Law Centre. Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, India.
Adv. Manit Loomba
 Advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

Corporate restructuring and competition level in the market is very closely intertwined with each other. India, in order to govern both the spheres, has adopted a mandatory and suspensory merger control regime, wherein the standstill obligation forms the most important intersection. As India has embarked its’ journey to overhaul the combination and competition law landscape with introduction of novel measures like green channel, failing-firm defense, it has become pertinent to also focus and understand seemingly overlooked concepts like, standstill obligation. In this article, the authors untie the knot on the legal framework of standstill obligation in the Indian Competition Act and matured jurisdictions like the European Union. The article also dwells upon the recent recommendation of the derogation from standstill obligations by the Competition Law Review Committee 2019 and it’s reflection in the newly introduced the Competition Amendment Bill 2020. As standstill obligation is the cornerstone of the Indian merger control regime, the impact of derogation from standstill obligation needs a nuanced understanding. Bearing this in mind, the authors also critically and comprehensively analyze the impact of the derogation from standstill obligation in the merger and acquisition landscape of India.