Excessive Pricing in Times of Covid-19
Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies & School of Law (GGSIPU)
Volume III, Issue IV, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted extraordinary demands and price instability for specific items, as well as fluctuations in firms’ expenses.
As firms battle to deal with these changes, organizations are forcefully looking to show they are forestalling consumer protection. Governments are exploring dependent on a wide range of instruments, including competition rules, consumer protection law, and & price gouging restrictions. Thereby, in such a scenario, it becomes necessary to remain significantly more cautious (with respect to the advisory issued by CCI for businesses in the wake of Covid-19) than in ordinary occasions if there is a danger of virus profiteering.
This Foreword tries to assist the businesses by exploring the rapidly developing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It initially sums up the guidelines on “exploitative” abuse of dominance in India by addressing the inherent problems associated with “excessive pricing”- one of the grey areas under the Competition Act. Second, it portrays the implementation steps that organizations are taking during the pandemic. The author endeavors to explain the troubles experienced by the Indian competition authorities in determining excessive pricing by setting a benchmark value, which is contended to be beyond the competence of competition authorities solely. Towards the end, the author has dissected the unsatisfactory quality of the “one size fit for all” approach and recommended the requirement for more regulatory measures in the presence of individual sector regulators in India.
Keywords: Excessive Pricing, Abuse, Dominant Position, Covid-19, Pandemic, Price Capping, Intervention