Will help ensure confidentiality of sensitive documents given by firms.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has selected HCL Technologies to develop an electronic system ensuring confidentiality of sensitive documents given by companies for merger and acquisition (M&A) scrutiny.
HCL was chosen through a competitive bidding process, a senior CCI official said. It is expected to develop security firewalls to protect the electronic data filed by industry.
Confidentiality of data has been a major concern of the industry after the government notified provisions under the Competition Act, 2002, for CCI to handle M&A scrutiny from June 1.
The official said the agency was also in the process of adopting security systems and standards as prevalent in developed countries.
Anticipating the operationalisation of M&A rules from June, CCI is busy equipping its staff through training programmes conducted by experts from agencies such as the US Federal Trade Commission. It has also established a floor in its offices to only house the M&A section, with strict entry restrictions.
While M&As officially announced until June 1 would be excluded from this scrutiny, all new ones where the acquirer has a minimum turnover of Rs 4,500 crore or more will have to be vetted by CCI.
The official said the agency does not expect to handle more than 50 M&A cases in a year. “Size alone will not matter if the merger does not result in an appreciable adverse effect on the competition. We expect to clear 95 per cent of the applications in 30 days. Only four of five per cent will come under thorough scrutiny, that may go up to 180 days,” the official said.
Meanwhile, CCI and its administrative ministry, corporate affairs, are in the process of finalising the M&A rules which will provide the operational directions to CCI.
CCI will take a final decision on the various proposals in its meeting scheduled on Friday. Global consultancy Grant Thornton estimates the total value of private equity, M&A and qualified institutional placement deals involving India Inc at $20.56 billion during the January-March period. There were 221 such deals during the three-month period, the agency said in its report.