This study provides a complete examination of abuse of dominance legislation in the context of Indian competition law. It begins by outlining the conceptual framework of dominance as described in the Competition Act of 2002, and then delves into the many forms of anti-competitive activity that constitute abuse of dominance. It explains the procedural mechanisms underlying the investigation and adjudication of alleged violations by an in-depth examination of statutory provisions and jurisprudential precedents. The article also examines significant case studies from several industries, providing insights on adjudicatory outcomes and their implications for market dynamics. By critically examining difficulties, objections, and recent changes, it provides a detailed assessment of the effectiveness of existing legal frameworks in combating anti-competitive practices. Drawing on worldwide perspectives, the report concludes with a clear demand for stakeholders to protect the integrity of competitive markets by strictly adhering to and enforcing abuse of dominance regulations.


In the complicated tapestry of economic regulation, competition law serves as a safeguard against monopolistic predation and excessive market domination. Within the Indian legal landscape, the Competition Act of 2002 represents this spirit, acting as a sentinel to protect the integrity of competitive marketplaces. The restriction on abuse of dominance is fundamental to this legislative framework, as it ensures a level playing field for market participants.

This paper sets out on a scholarly journey to comprehend the intricate aspects of abuse of dominance legislation in India. Our discourse, based on a mix of legislative analysis and jurisprudential explanation, seeks to untangle the intricacies inherent in this critical aspect of competition regulation.

We begin our journey by digging into the philosophical foundations of dominance, as codified in the Competition Act of 2002. The demarcation of dominance affects the breadth and reach of anti-competitive prohibitions, and this is the fulcrum on which the regulatory machinery is based.

From this basic pedestal, we rise to a panoramic perspective, examining the various forms of anti-competitive behaviour that constitute abuse of dominance. We attempt to distil the core of unlawful market behaviour, ranging from predatory pricing to exclusionary activities, by examining legislative text and judicial rulings in detail.

The story arc then shifts to the procedural arena, where the regulatory apparatus charged with implementing abuse of dominance statutes is scrutinised. The adjudicatory proceedings of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which are riddled with investigative intrigues and adjudicative declarations, serve as focus points for scrutiny.


The statutory construction of dominance, as defined in the Competition Act of 2002, is the foundation of India’s competition law system. Section 4 of the Act bans firms that hold a dominant position in relevant markets from abusing their power. The Act defines dominance as a position of strength held by an enterprise that allows it to:

1. Operate independent of competing demands.
2. Affect competitors, consumers, or the relevant market to its advantage.

This statutory definition serves as the foundation for establishing whether an organisation has adequate market power to engage in potentially harmful behaviour. However, the Act does not provide quantitative thresholds for determining dominance. Instead, it authorises the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to evaluate dominance on a case-by-case basis, taking into account characteristics such as market share, size, resources, economic power, and entry hurdles.

In contrast to its doctrinal interpretation, the statutory concept of dominance is subjected to a sophisticated investigation via judicial and regulatory pronouncements. Courts and the CCI have developed the contours of dominance via a series of precedents, increasing our knowledge of what constitutes a dominant position in practice.

In interpreting the statutory provisions, the judiciary and the CCI have emphasised the dynamic nature of markets and the importance of a comprehensive assessment of competitive dynamics. They recognise that dominance can be achieved by criteria such as technological supremacy, brand strength, and vertical integration, in addition to substantial market share.

Furthermore, the doctrinal interpretation has emphasised the importance of taking into account the dominant firm’s competitive constraints, such as the presence of rival firms, the threat of entry, and buyer bargaining power. This contextual analysis allows for a more nuanced understanding of dominance and prevents the potential misapplication of competition law.

The statutory construction of dominance under the Competition Act of 2002 establishes a core framework for analysing market strength and combating abuse. Its doctrinal interpretation, moulded by judicial and regulatory precedents, complements this paradigm by providing nuanced insights into the changing nature of markets and the complexity of determining dominance. The interplay between statutory provisions and doctrinal interpretation under India’s competition law framework aims to encourage competitive markets that benefit consumers while also encouraging innovation and economic growth.

                                                LEGAL FRAMEWORK

The Competition Act of 2002 serves as the primary legislative framework governing abuse of dominance in India, and it is complemented by applicable regulations and guidelines issued by the Competition Commission of India. This framework offers the statutory basis for identifying, investigating, and adjudicating cases of abuse of dominance in the Indian market.
The Competition Act of 2002

1. The Competition Act is India’s primary statute governing anti-competitive behaviour, including abuse of dominance.
2. Section 4 of the Act forbids companies from abusing their dominating positions in relevant markets.
3. The Act defines dominance and specifies abusive practices such as imposing unfair prices or conditions, limiting production or technological advancement, and participating in practices that result in denial of market access.
4. The Act gives the CCI the authority to investigate charges of abuse of dominance, issue orders, and apply penalties to prohibit anti-competitive behaviour.

Regulations & Guidelines:

1. The CCI has developed regulations and guidelines to help clarify and implement the Competition Act.
2. The CCI (Procedure in Regard to the Transaction of Business Relating to Combinations) Regulations, 2011, govern the evaluation of mergers and acquisitions that may result in dominance.
3. The CCI has also released guidelines on the assessment of dominance, market definition, and predatory pricing, among other issues, to help stakeholders understand and comply with competition legislation.

Enforcement Mechanisms:

1.The CCI is the primary enforcement authority in charge of carrying out the terms of the Competition Act.
2.The CCI has the authority to gather evidence, summon witnesses, and hold hearings in the case of alleged abuses of dominance.
3.If the CCI determines that an entity has misused its dominant position, it may issue orders instructing the enterprise to stop such conduct, impose fines, or prescribe corrective measures to restore competition in the relevant market.

Overall, India’s legislative framework for abuse of dominance is intended to promote competitive markets, safeguard consumer interests, and encourage innovation and economic growth. India tries to preserve a level playing field for enterprises and create a competitive and dynamic marketplace by enforcing competition law provisions diligently and providing ongoing regulatory scrutiny.



Google, one of the world’s greatest technological businesses, has been accused of abusing its dominance in a number of global marketplaces. In India, regulators and competitors have questioned Google’s dominance in the digital ecosystem, particularly in the online search and advertising sectors.


Google has faced accusations from competitors and advocacy groups of engaging in anti-competitive activities to maintain its dominant position. Some of the significant allegations are:

  1. Favouring its own services: Google has been accused of favouring its own products and services in search results and app store rankings, putting competitors at a disadvantage.
  2.  Imposing unfair terms: According to reports, Google has put stringent restrictions on device manufacturers and app developers, requiring them to pre-install Google apps or use Google as the default search engine in exchange for access to the Android operating system or the Play Store.
  3.  Predatory pricing: Google has been accused of engaging in predatory pricing by selling its services at a discount or for free in order to gain market share and eliminate competitors.
    Google has been accused of using discriminatory techniques in its advertising business, such as putting unfair terms and conditions on advertisers and publishers.


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an investigation into Google’s suspected abuse of dominance in response to complaints from competitors and others. The inquiry involved a thorough study of Google’s business procedures, acquiring evidence, and holding hearings with relevant parties.


The CCI’s examination concluded that Google had misused its dominating position in some Indian marketplaces. The CCI ruled that Google’s tactics, such as favouring its own services in search results and imposing stringent requirements on device manufacturers and app developers, were anti-competitive and harmful to consumer choice and innovation.


As a result of the CCI’s conclusions, Google was forced to pay a large fine and implement corrective measures to remedy its anti-competitive behaviour. Google was also urged to change its business operations to guarantee a level playing field for competitors and encourage fair competition in the digital ecosystem.


The review of abuse of dominance legislation in India demonstrates the importance of competition regulation in fostering lively and competitive markets. India’s legal structure, through legislative design and doctrinal interpretation of dominance, provides a solid platform for recognising and combating anti-competitive behaviour. The Competition Act of 2002, which prohibits abusive practices and empowers the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate and adjudicate infractions, acts as a barrier to monopolistic tendencies while also promoting consumer welfare and innovation.

Case studies, such as the inquiry into Google’s alleged abuse of power, demonstrate the significance of strict enforcement in combating anti-competitive behaviour. The findings and remedies imposed in such cases send a strong message to dominant corporations that anti-competitive behaviour will not be allowed, and corrective actions will be taken to restore competition and defend consumer interests.

Challenges exist in effectively combating abuse of dominance, such as evidence requirements, procedural complications, and legal scrutiny. However, continued dialogue, regulatory reforms, and capacity-building activities can assist solve these issues and improve competition law enforcement in India.

Moving forward, the evolution of abuse of dominance legislation must keep up with the dynamics of the digital economy and expanding markets. Regulatory agility, stakeholder involvement, and international cooperation will be critical in shaping competition policy to meet the demands of a quickly changing economic world.

To summarise, understanding abuse of dominance legislation in India is critical for promoting competitive marketplaces that encourage innovation, efficiency, and consumer choice. By adhering to the principles of fair competition and effective enforcement, India may realise its full economic potential while also ensuring a level playing field for enterprises and consumers.


  1. What is abuse of dominance?

Ans: Abuse of dominance refers to anti-competitive behaviour by a dominant firm in a market, which can harm competition and consumers. It occurs when a company with significant market power exploits its position to restrict competition or unfairly exclude rivals.

  1. How is dominance defined under Indian Competition law?

Ans: In Indian competition law, dominance is defined under Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. According to this section, an enterprise is considered to be dominant if it enjoys a position of strength that enables it to operate independently of competitive forces prevailing in the relevant market. This strength may be due to various factors such as market share, financial resources, technology, or vertical integration.

  1. What are the examples of abusive practices by dominant firms?

Ans: Some examples of abusive practice include predatory pricing, exclusive dealing, tying and bundling, refusal to deal and margin squeeze

  1. What penalties can be imposed for abuse of dominance?

Ans: The penalties include cease and desist orders, fines, structural remedies, behavioural remedies, etc. 

  1. Can decisions of the CCI be challenged?

Ans: Yes, the decision of the CCI can be challenged. The appeal process involves the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), which was established to hear appeals against orders of the CCI.


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