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Govt Assures Confidentiality on M&A Proposals
December, 01st 2009

The government has assured India Inc that while clearing mergers and acquisitions proposals the Competition Commission (CCI) will keep this information confidential.

"We have to ensure confidentiality (on M&A applications)," Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told a news agency when asked about the concerns expressed by industry over notification of Sections 5 and 6 of Competition Act dealing with mergers and acquisition.

Once the sections are notified by the government, companies will have to seek approval of the Competition Commission (CCI) before going ahead with the proposal. The CCI will have 210 days to take a call on the applications.

The 210-day period, the industry feels, is quite long as there is a possibility of confidential information leaking to rivals or media.

Any merger that increases the combined assets of the two entities to over Rs 1,000 crore or raises the turnover to Rs 3,000 crore requires the CCI's approval.

In May this year, the government had empowered the Commission to take up cases pertaining to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance. The CCI is authorised to entertain cases pertaining to abuse of dominance and formation of cartels.

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