Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Talya Solomon and Iris Achmon ask Israeli Competition Authority—Who Guards the Guardians?
Simon Dekeyser, KU Leuven - Department of Accountancy, Finance and Insurance (AFI), Ann Gaeremynck, KULeuven; KU Leuven, Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB), Students, W. Robert Knechel, University of Florida - Fisher School of Accounting, and Marleen Willekens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) identify Multimarket Contact and Mutual Forbearance in Audit Markets.
ABSTRACT: In this paper we argue that audit firms rationally consider the potential reactions of their rivals when deciding how fiercely to compete in a given market. Based on prior literature in the field of industrial organization (Bernheim and Whinston ), we hypothesize that competing with the same audit firms across different industries within a geographical region (which we label “multi-industry contact”) leads to less (price) competition overall, which suggests mutual forbearance among rivals. As we characterize the audit market as a differentiated Bertrand oligopoly, pricing is a main strategic choice variable for audit firms. We predict and test whether the extent of multi-industry contact is positively associated with audit fees including several tight fixed effects specifications to rule out potential confounds. Based on a sample of 19,641 observations from 2004-2012, we find that the extent of multi-industry contact between audit firms is positively associated with audit fees controlling for inter-year, inter-industry, inter-geographical area, inter-client and inter-market segment heterogeneities. This evidence is consistent with mutual forbearance between audit firms. In supplementary tests, we find that the likelihood of client switching is negatively associated with multi-industry contact.
Doing Digital in India, with Shilpi Battacharya and Ujjwal Jumar: https://competitionlore.com/podcasts/doing-digital-in-india/.
Mario Daniele Amore, Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology and Riccardo Marzano, Politecnico di Milano explains Family Ownership and Antitrust Violations.
ABSTRACT: We study how family ownership shapes the firms’ likelihood of being involved in antitrust indictments. Using data from Italy, we show that family firms are significantly less likely than other firms to commit antitrust violations. To achieve identification, we exploit a law change that made it easier to transfer family control. Studying the mechanisms at play, we find that family firms are especially less likely to commit antitrust violations when they feature a more prominent size relative to the city where they are located, which magnifies reputational concerns. Next, we show that family firms involved in antitrust violations appoint more family members in top executive positions in the aftermath of the indictment. Moreover, these firms invest less and curb equity financing as compared to nonfamily firms. Collectively, our findings suggest that family control wards off reputational damages but, at the same time, it weakens the ability to expand in order to keep up with fiercer competition following the dismantlement of the anticompetitive practice.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Jorge Padilla, Compass Lexecon is Revisiting the Horizontal Mergers and Innovation Policy Debate.
Personal Liability for Anticompetitive Conduct in the Context of the Trade Agreement between EU and Colombia, Peru and Ecuador
Martin Krčmář, Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law explores Personal Liability for Anticompetitive Conduct in the Context of the Trade Agreement between EU and Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.
ABSTRACT: This article concerns personal liability for anticompetitive conduct within the context of the Trade Agreement in question. Particularly, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview and a comparison of the regulatory standards in the affected jurisdictions. Despite certain efforts to further harmonize the rules which stipulate personal liability of individuals, the practices within the EU vary, and a single legislation which is applicable equally for all Member States has not been adopted. Unlike with the EU, the legislation of all three Andean signatories of the Trade Agreement, i.e. Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, allows for a specific sanction for anticompetitive conduct committed by the representatives of the companies concerned. Besides providing a description of the respective statutory rules, the author of this article aims to provide specific examples of the decision-making practices adopted by the competition authorities which have focused on identifying the attribution of company representatives’ conduct.
Laurent Cavenaile, University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; University of Toronto at Scarborough, Murat Alp Celik, University of Toronto - Department of Economics, and Xu Tian, University of Toronto ask Are Markups Too High? Competition, Strategic Innovation, and Industry Dynamics.
ABSTRACT: In the last four decades, the U.S. witnessed significant changes in firm dynamics within and across industries. Industries are increasingly dominated by a small number of large firms ("superstars"). Markups, market concentration, profits, and R&D spending are increasing, whereas business dynamism, productivity growth, and the labor share are in decline. We develop a unified framework to explore the underlying economic mechanisms driving these changes, and the implications for economic growth and social welfare. The model combines a detailed oligopolistic competition model featuring endogenous entry and exit with a new Schumpeterian growth model. Within each industry, there are an endogenously determined number of superstars that compete a la Cournot and a continuum of small firms which collectively constitute a competitive fringe. Firms dynamically choose their innovation strategy, cognizant of other firms' choices. The model is consistent with the changes in the macroeconomic aggregates, and it replicates the observed hump-shaped relationship between innovation and competition within and across industries. We estimate the model to disentangle the effects of separate mechanisms on the structural transition, which yields striking results: (1) While the increase in the average markup causes a significant static welfare loss, this loss is overshadowed by the dynamic welfare gains from increased innovation in response to higher profit opportunities. (2) The decline in productivity growth is largely driven by the increasing costs of innovation, i.e. ideas are getting harder to find.
Luis M. B. Cabral, New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and Sophia Gilbukh, CUNY Baruch College discuss Rational Buyers Search When Prices Increase.
ABSTRACT: We develop a dynamic pricing model motivated by observed patterns in business-to-business (and some business-to-customer) transactions. Seller costs are perfectly correlated and evolve according to a Markov process. In every period, each buyer observes (for free) the price set by their current supplier, but not the other sellers' prices or the sellers' (common) cost level. By paying a cost s the buyer becomes "active" and benefits from (Bertrand) competition among sellers.
We show that there exists a semi-separating equilibrium whereby sellers increase price immediately when costs increase and otherwise decrease price gradually. Moreover, buyers become active when prices increase but not otherwise. In sum, we deliver a theory whereby buyers become active ("search") if and only if their supplier increases price.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Herb Hovenkamp, Penn addresses FRAND and Antitrust.
ABSTRACT: This paper considers when a patentee’s violation of a FRAND commitment also violates the antitrust laws. It warns against two extremes. First is thinking that any violation of a FRAND obligation is an antitrust violation as well. FRAND obligations are contractual, and most breaches of contract do not violate antitrust law. The other extreme is thinking that, because a FRAND violation is a breach of contract, it cannot also be an antitrust violation.
Every antitrust case must consider the market environment in which conduct is evaluated. SSOs operated by multiple firms are joint ventures. Antitrust’s role is to evaluate how challenged restraints operate within the venture and condemn unreasonably anticompetitive practices. In her Qualcomm decision Judge Koh devoted considerable space to standard essential patents and FRAND commitments, but she addressed the antitrust exclusion claims with little reference to standard setting or FRAND.
Breach of a FRAND commitment violates the antitrust laws when it causes competitive harm. For §1 of the Sherman Act, this requires an agreement that threatens to reduce market output. If the conduct is reasonably ancillary to other procompetitive activity, this requires an assessment of market power and anticompetitive effects. For tying and exclusive dealing the principal vehicle of competitive harm is foreclosure of competitors. In lengthy discussions, Judge Koh found foreclosure levels in the Qualcomm case to be significant. Perhaps because it was unnecessary, however, she did not consider whether antitrust policy should have heightened concerns about foreclosure in networked markets where interoperability is essential.
The antitrust issue of unilateral refusals to deal is too often confused with the essential facility doctrine. The essential facility doctrine is based on the idea that some assets are so essential to commerce that the owner has a duty to share them. By contrast, the refusal to deal rule is rooted in conduct – namely, a specific prior contractual obligation, reliance and path dependence, and subsequent repudiation. Many joint ventures involve a significant sunk investment in assets that are dedicated to the venture. If one firm can later extract itself and commandeer the relevant technology, it can leave the remaining firms at a significant competitive disadvantage, with the effect of transferring market share, reducing output, raising prices, and ultimately undermining the competitive promise of such ventures. This makes antitrust refusal to deal rules particularly important for collaborative networked industries.
While the essential facility doctrine is conducive to competitor passivity, the Aspen rule facilitates competitor investment. The idea that a facility is “essential” indicates that rivals need not bother to develop their own alternatives. Instead, they should seek a right to connect into the dominant firm’s facility. By contrast, the Aspen rule is based on a premise of voluntary commitment to invest jointly. If one firm later reneges on that commitment in a way that threatens to undermine it, those investment backed expectations are lost. The Aspen rule thus serves to protect the integrity of investment when noncompetitive outcomes are threatened.
The debate over “holdup” or “holdout” in the FRAND setting has occasional antitrust relevance. While holdout is a real problem, there is little empirical evidence that it occurs frequently in FRAND settings. Holdout occurs when implementers conspire to exclude patentees or suppress royalties. But standard essential patents are largely self-declared and, as it appears, significantly over declared. Further, “holdout” hypothesizes agreements to force patentees to accept infra-market royalties, but FRAND royalties are determined post-commitment by independent tribunals, and there is no evidence of systematic undercompensation.
Finally, while some object to using antitrust law to discipline firms for seeking injunctions on FRAND-encumbered patents, existing antitrust doctrine on the point is clear and sufficient: a firm has the right to seek relief in court unless its prospects are so poor that the lawsuit must be regarded as a “sham.” The antitrust question of injunctions on FRAND patents is thus quite fact-specific and depends on the extent to which the law is settled.
Competition Law and Policy as a Tool for Development: A Review of Making Markets Work for Africa: Markets, Development, and Competition Law in Sub-Saharan Africa by Eleanor Fox and Mor Bakhoum
Jasper Lubeto, TLO Law Associates offers Competition Law and Policy as a Tool for Development: A Review of Making Markets Work for Africa: Markets, Development, and Competition Law in Sub-Saharan Africa by Eleanor Fox and Mor Bakhoum.
ABSTRACT: Prior to the recent commencement of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCFTA), there was no region-wide competition treaty in Africa. Concerted efforts have been invested in uniting broader political, economic and legal policies at sub-Saharan Africa level except for competition law and policy. Granted, the broader political, economic and legal order ought to lay the foundation for a harmonized competition law and policy dispensation. Eleanor Fox and Mor Bakhoum seem to be alive to this reality in their work, Making Markets Work for Africa: Markets, Development, and Competition law in sub-Saharan Africa. Their work brings together the historical, political, economic and legal underpinnings anchoring competition law and policy in today’s sub-Saharan Africa. They do not stop at that. They focus on the legal texts, institutional set-up and performance, and effects of sub-regional regimes on competition law and policy implementation. Fox and Bakhoum’s fairly broad analysis focusing on West, East, and Southern African countries brings to fore the real challenges at play in Africa. It is a fragmented, stratified yet at times vertically united legal and policy landscape. While they observe the need for convergence of competition law at the continental or regional level, they note the different states of developmental progress among sub-Saharan African countries hence concede the need for the fragmented approach.
Stephen Houck, Offit Kurman, argues Breaking Up is Hard to Do.
ABSTRACT: This article considers under what circumstances government enforcement agencies should seek remedial relief in respect of such companies and whether breaking them up is an appropriate form of relief if they do. While drawing on academic and other sources, my perspective is one from the trenches. I grappled with these issues as lead trial counsel for the 21 state plaintiffs in liability portion of the government’s §2 case against Microsoft and then again for more than seven years as enforcement counsel for the California Group of States. The D.C. Circuit’s unanimous en banc decision in U.S. v. Microsoft itself contains much learning with respect to these issues.
The Brunel Comparative Competition Law Summer School is an integrated and intense programme taking place in Brunel University London. This exciting overseas course offers a comprehensive immersion into the fast-moving, challenging and high-profile area of Competition Law and includes opportunities to explore the City of London, England. The Summer School is also a flexible programme with all courses lead by Professor Suzanne Rab, practising barrister at Serle Court Chambers specialising in EU, competition law and regulation. The international comparative programme will include insights from, China, India and Hong Kong and new for 2020, Latin America and Africa. The course also offers a sectoral perspective, profiling the media/ communications, energy, financial services, pharma/healthcare and transportation sectors, among others.
For more information and to book your place now, please visit: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/law/brunel-competition-law-summer-school-2020/Brunel-Comparative-Competition-Law-Summer-School-2020
What Makes FRAND Fair? The Just Price, Contract Formation, and the Division of Surplus from Voluntary Exchange
Greg Sidak, Criteron Economics, asks What Makes FRAND Fair? The Just Price, Contract Formation, and the Division of Surplus from Voluntary Exchange.
ABSTRACT: Long before anyone understood what an economist does and why it might matter, Saint Thomas Aquinas had already endeavored to define “the just price.” Seven centuries after Aquinas opined on the just price there emerged a new institution of capitalism, the standard-setting organization (SSO), which by contract typically obligates the owner of standard-essential patents (SEPs) to offer to license its SEPs on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms to willing implementers of the standard. (It is notable that some SSOs require that licenses to SEPs be offered on merely reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) terms.) SSOs generally permit each SEP holder to set a FRAND royalty for its SEPs through private bilateral negotiations with each implementer, rather than require the SEP holder to post tariffed rates for all customers. Such voluntary exchange benefits both parties, who divide their aggregate gains from trade, which economists call surplus. This economic principle — that voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial — is as profound as it is simple, and for that reason economists call it, “The Fundamental Theorem of Exchange.”
This question of the meaning of a fair price turns out to have very real legal ramifications in the present day. Rarely do I disagree with Judge Richard Posner, but I do with respect to his view that “fair” is surplusage in the FRAND contract. Judge Posner, sitting by designation as the trial judge in Apple, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc. in 2012 in the Northern District of Illinois, said that, in the context of FRAND, “the word ‘fair’ adds nothing to ‘reasonable’ and ‘nondiscriminatory.’” My previous writings have followed this convention of making no legal or economic distinction between FRAND and RAND royalties, though I have never excluded the possibility that someone might eventually make a compelling argument for why “fair” is not a throwaway word for parties to insert into a contract. And so, I have previously analyzed at length the differences between actual FRAND contracts and actual RAND contracts with respect to how fairness creeps into the constraint to license SEPs on nondiscriminatory terms. This article will show why courts should take the distinction between FRAND contracts and RAND contracts more seriously.
More than 30 years ago, Robert Frank of Cornell University proposed a precise economic definition that is directly relevant to the question of what makes a FRAND royalty fair: “Using the notions of reservation price and surplus, we can construct the following operational definition of a fair transaction: A fair transaction is one in which the surplus is divided (approximately) equally. The transaction becomes increasingly unfair as the division increasingly deviates from equality.”
Frank then explained the problem that unfairness presents: “People will sometimes reject transactions in which the other party gets the lion’s share of the surplus, even though the price at which the product sells may compare favorably with their own reservation price.” This reasoning is very close to the conclusion I had reached before benefiting, late in the process of revising this article over the course of several years, from reading Frank’s 1988 book. Frank and I each find ourselves using Judge Posner as our foil, though for different reasons. Frank criticized Judge Posner’s writings through the mid-1980s as denying what Frank argued was the considerable explanatory power of fairness considerations in law and economics. In contrast, I gently chide Judge Posner for overlooking roughly 25 years later that, by the private ordering of contract law, some SSOs had chosen to impose an obligation of fairness so that (according to my economic interpretation) those SSOs could nudge parties into exercising the degree of moderation in their negotiation demands that is necessary to achieve contract formation reliably and expeditiously.
The irony is that my interpretation of why the word “fair” must have an independent meaning within the FRAND contract is quintessentially Posnerian: a division of surplus that is perceived by both parties to be fair maximizes the probability of contract formation, which in turn immediately benefits the parties to the contract. Thus, fairness clearly promotes static allocative efficiency. Moreover, across time the fairness constraint on the division of surplus also benefits countless consumers, whom the grand edifice of the FRAND contract is surely intended to benefit (though not necessarily by the formal machinery of conferring on those consumers legally enforceable rights of a third-party beneficiary, as the FRAND contract does confer on implementers). As Joseph Schumpeter taught us, it is the consumption of innovative products in the future that delivers radical — not marginal — gains in consumer surplus. Thus, the fairness constraint promotes dynamic efficiency as well. In this respect, Posner’s emphasis on efficiency and Frank’s emphasis on fairness are reconcilable. A lopsided division of surplus is a cost imposed on efficient transactions to the extent that it prevents some otherwise promising negotiations from achieving successful contract formation; if that cost can be eliminated or mitigated, a larger number of efficient transactions will occur. Therefore, regardless of whether one prefers to call it a quest for fairness or a quest for efficiency, an SSO’s constraint on the SEP holder that a royalty for its SEPs be fair is a privately ordered feature of contract — a self-imposed cattle prod — that contributes to a result that proponents of fairness and proponents of efficiency can both applaud.
Thomas Aquinas understood in the Summa Theologica that voluntary exchange produces the just price, which does not have a unique value. If, as I believe, it is more realistic to view voluntary exchange concerning the licensing of standard-essential patents as an infinitely repeated game, then one can explain the constraint of “fairness” in FRAND licensing transactions as a facilitator of efficient contract formation. This explanation does not require one to resort to any normative expression of the aesthetic features of a just or fair distribution of value within the economy. This insight also does not diminish the independent significance of fairness as a goal. To the contrary, it outlines a richer linkage between justice, innovation, and voluntary exchange than appears previously to have been appreciated by either jurists or scholars. And it suggests why the quest for a better understanding of the just price is as salient and profound today as it was in the 13th century.
Friday, November 8, 2019
The growing nostalgia for past regulatory misadventures and the risk of repeating these mistakes with Big Tech
Christine Wilson (FTC) and Keith Klovers (FTC) discuss The growing nostalgia for past regulatory misadventures and the risk of repeating these mistakes with Big Tech.
Digital markets are increasingly described as the ‘railroads’ of the 21st century. Extending that metaphor, some commentators argue we should revive stale railroad-era economic regulations and adapt them to the digital age. This enthusiasm appears to be buoyed by both a sudden nostalgia for railroad and airline regulations once administered by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and an equally sudden amnesia of the enormous harm those regulations caused to consumers. ICC and CAB regulations are indeed an apt metaphor, as they illustrate perfectly how sectoral regulations sold to the public as simple, clear, and cheap can go awry. Ultimately, a bipartisan consensus emerged to disband those agencies and deregulate those industries. After deregulation, prices fell, output expanded, and firms innovated. Proposals to regulate Big Tech today in a similar fashion forget these important lessons. We should know better than to do the same thing again today and expect a different result.
Yossi Spiegel, Tel Aviv University, Coller School of Management; discusses The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index and the Distribution of Social Surplus.
ABSTRACT: I show that in a broad range of oligopoly models where firms have (not necessarily identical) constant marginal cost, HHI is an increasing function of the ratio of producers' surplus and consumers' surplus and therefore reflects the division of surplus between firms' owners and consumers.
Michal Gal, U Haifa makes THE CASE FOR LIMITING PRIVATE LITIGATION OF EXCESSIVE PRICING.
ABSTRACT: In the EU, private litigation of competition law violations is in its nascence. As this article shows, excessive pricing raises strong concerns for such litigation, for three reasons: (1) the inherent difficulty of defining what constitutes an unfair price; (2) additional challenges inherent to private excessive pricing litigation, such as the need to pinpoint when exactly a price becomes unfair; and (3) the institutional features of general courts in EU member states, which are ill-suited to the required tasks. We elaborate on these concerns, pointing to four specific challenges inherent to private litigation and to three instances where a lack of sufficient economic understanding could entrap general courts (a cost trap, a fairness trap, and a monopolistic competition trap). Together, these factors create a risk of error costs much higher than any experienced so far, which could potentially reduce welfare. The article suggests some measures that can be taken to ensure that welfare is served.
José Azar, University of Navarra, IESE Business School; CEPR, Steven Berry, Yale University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Yale University - Cowles Foundation, and Ioana Elena Marinescu, University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) are Estimating Labor Market Power.
ABSTRACT: How much power do employers have to suppress wages below marginal productivity? It depends on the firm-level labor supply elasticity. Leveraging data on job applications from the large job board CareerBuilder.com, we estimate the wage impact on workers' choice among differentiated jobs in the largest occupations. We use a nested logit model of worker's utility for applying to jobs with varying wages and characteristics, including distance from the potential worker's home. We account for the endogeneity of wages by using several different instrumental variable strategies. We find that failing to instrument results in implausibly low elasticities, whereas plausible instruments result in more elastic estimates. Still, the implied market-level labor supply elasticity is about 0.6, while the firm-level labor supply elasticity is about 5.8. This implies that workers produce about 17% more than their wage level, consistent with employers having significant market power even for the largest occupational labor markets.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Defining Geographic Markets from Probabilistic Clusters: A Machine Learning Algorithm Applied to Supermarket Scanner Data
Stephen Bruestle, Federal Maritime Commission, Luca Pappalardo, Institute of Information Science and Technologies (ISTI), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), and Riccardo Guidotti, Institute of Information Science and Technologies (ISTI), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) are Defining Geographic Markets from Probabilistic Clusters: A Machine Learning Algorithm Applied to Supermarket Scanner Data.
ABSTRACT: We propose that we estimate geographic markets in two steps. First, estimate clusters of transactions interchangeable in use. Second, estimate markets from these clusters. We argue that these clusters are subsets of markets. We draw on both antitrust cases and economic intuition. We model and estimate these clusters using techniques from machine learning and data science. WE model these clusters using Blei et al.’s (2003) Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model. And, we estimate this model using Griffiths and Steyvers’s (2004) Gibbs Sampling algorithm (Gibbs LDA). We apply these ideas to a real-world example. We use transaction-level scanner data from the largest supermarket franchise in Italy. We find fourteen clusters. We present strong evidence that LDA fits the data. This shows that these interchangeability clusters exist in the marketplace. Then, we compare Gibbs LDA clusters with clusters from the Elzinga-Hogarty (E-H) test. We find similar clusters. LDA has a few identifiable parameters. The E-H test has too many parameters for identification. Also, Gibbs LDA avoids the silent majority fallacy of the E-H test. Then, we estimate markets from the Gibbs LDA clusters. We use consumption overlap and price stationarity tests on the clusters. We find four grocery markets in Tuscany.
ABSTRACT: This article discusses international cooperation in merger control enforcement under competition law. It describes the framework of merger control in Japan, recent developments in international agreements, merger cases involving international cooperation and the relevant governing authorities’ standard process, including waiver considerations. This article offers three contributions. First, it comments on international cooperation in merger control, including the necessity of confidentiality waivers. Second, it provides basic information for assessing the appropriateness and transparency of merger control policies. Finally, it encourages cooperation between young and advanced competition authorities. The article’s deep understanding of merger activity is based on a detailed analysis of the Japan Fair Trade Commission’s guidelines for international cooperation in merger control.
A Comparative Perspective to Competition Law Cases in the Ride-Sharing Industry: Reflections from Jurisdictions of Singapore, EU and India
Shubhalakshmi Bhattacharya, OP Jindal Global University, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Ganesh Bhaskar Lata O.P. Jindal Global University Deepanshu Mohan OP Jindal Global University - Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) offer A Comparative Perspective to Competition Law Cases in the Ride-Sharing Industry: Reflections from Jurisdictions of Singapore, EU and India.
ABSTRACT: This study attempts to understand the effect and content of competition law jurisprudence engaged in the (digital) app based ride-sharing industry. The research undertakes a critical review of recent case laws law across three jurisdictions, adjudicated by competition regulatory authorities (in context to the ride sharing industrial sector).
These feature India, Singapore and the European Union, drawing a transnational contemporary perspective to how competition regulatory authorities view (competitive) disputes concerning economic agents within the digital economy landscape. As part of the review, one of the primary objectives is to understand the meaning of term “market definition“ and how competition regulatory authorities have delineated the relevant market with respect to this industry as part of the larger digital economic landscape, which is rapidly evolving.
Through the study, hurdles to delineating a relevant market were analysed from interpretations of recent case laws, further discussing why a common market definition has not been framed across jurisdictions, as well as within the same jurisdiction - as seen in the recent legal cases in India.