The global merger of Bayer CropScience and Monsanto cannot happen unless the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves their merger in India, according to a top official of Bayer in India. 

Richard van der Merwe, Vice-chairman and Managing Director of Bayer CropScience India told reporters here that the rule of approval by CCI applies to all mergers and is not specific to the Bayer-Monsanto deal. He expects the CCI to give the green light by May this year. 

Van der Merwe said that if the global merger is brought about without CCI approval, the commission could impose a penalty of one per cent of turnover or assets of the combined entity, whichever is higher. The merged entity needs to seek approvals from 30 jurisdictions, of which it has obtained consent from 14. 

The Competition Act, 2002 was enacted in January 2003. The CCI was established in October 2003. An amendment to the act was enacted in 2007. The Commission was fully constituted on March 1, 2009. Its mandate as per the law is: To prohibit anti-competitive agreements; To prohibit abuse of dominant position; To regulate combinations; and Competition advocacy. It keeps an eye on emergence of any cartels, bid rigging or abuse of dominance. It strives to make the markets work for the benefit and welfare of consumers by ensuring fair and healthy competition and nurture a competition culture in the country.

It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India. The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.