Amitabh Kumar


Amitabh, a retired Indian Revenue Service Officer, has handled complex cases of abuse of dominance and cartels, besides merger filings and organising competition compliance programmes during recent years. His expertise lies in the sphere of regulation, public finance and policy in an illustrious career of thirty one years, during which he served in the Indian Income Tax department (rising to Commissioner, Income Tax), and also served with the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and with the Competition Commission of India (as Director-General) for almost five years.

His primary service lines include competition compliance advisory and filings (including merger filings), and regulatory proceedings before statutory authorities, tribunals and courts.

Amitabh was the first Director General of the Competition Commission of India between 2004 and 2009. He was involved in the Policy and Regulatory Framework set up during the initial years of the Competition Authority. He assisted the Government in drafting the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2007.

He was also responsible for drafting nine implementing regulations, besides making a significant contribution to the Competition Law Advocacy initiative of the authority. He was member of several committees appointed by the Government of India to recommend a National Competition Policy document and necessary amendments to the Competition Act, 2002.

Amitabh was the Departmental Representative for the Income Tax Department at the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal for six years, where he handled complex tax cases.

He has also had consulting experience with the African Development Bank, The World Bank, UNDP and Department for International Development (UK) in strategic policy areas. He has served on the Board of several public sector undertakings.

Some of the key assignments handled by him have been competition issues in diverse sectors such as direct-to-home TV, retail electricity distribution, railway transportation, energy, agrochemicals, visa services and civil aviation hospitality, to name a few. Amitabh has also conducted many competition compliance programmes for clients in India.

Some of the recent deals he has been involved with are: 

  • Merger Filing:
    • Acted for China National Agrochemical Corporation (CNAC) in the India merger control filing for the global acquisition of Syngenta AG, a Swiss based seeds company
    • Advised eBay Singapore Services Private Limited, and its affiliates including eBay Inc. in relation to its investment in Flipkart Limited in Singapore, and sale of eBay India to the Flipkart Limited
    • Advised Mitsubishi Chemical Company (MCC) in relation to sale of its stake in its Indian subsidiary to a private equity investor
    • Advised and acted for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd in merger filing in relation to their exit from their joint venture with Ashok Leyland Ltd.
    • Acted on behalf of Trafigura in the acquisition of 98% of Essar Oil Limited (EOL) from the present promoters of the Essar Group
    • Acted for TVS Logistics Services Limited in acquisition of its shares by CDPQ Private Equity Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore 
  • Anti-Trust:
    • Represented Indian Ship Owners Association against ONGC in a complaint alleging abuse of dominance by the latter
  • Leniency Cases:
    • Acting for two alleged members of a cartel in an ongoing investigation in the conveyor belt sector
    • Acting for two leniency applicants engaged in solid waste management and beverages sectors
    • Acting for three alleged members of a cartel and three third party information providers in an ongoing investigation in the auto-parts sector 
    • Acting for a leniency applicant in the health sector

He has been with J Sagar Associates for eight years, since 2010.

PRACTICE AREAS

MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Council of Delhi
  • International Bar Association

EDUCATION

  • M.A. (Economics), Delhi School of Economics (1977) 
  • LL. B, Bombay University (1984)
  • MBA(Finance), Jamnlal Bajaj Institute of Management Sciences, Bombay (1987)
  • M.Sc. in Fiscal Studies, Bath University, UK (1990)

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

  • English
  • Hindi

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