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Rahul Rai

Rahul Rai

AZB & Partners


Rahul Rai is a partner in the competition team at AZB & Partners. He’s been practising competition law for close to 10 years and is one of the most experienced members of the Indian competition law bar.

In almost 10 years of practice, Rahul has advised clients on a number of global transactions,
as well as complex cartel investigations and abuse of dominance matters across various industries. In the run-up to the implementation of the Indian competition law, Rahul worked with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on its advocacy initiatives and was part of the working group responsible for formulating the CCI’s merger control regulations. He has also represented the CCI in its major litigation at various courts and tribunals, including the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court). Rahul has been involved in formulating competition policy for sovereign governments and was part of the team engaged to review and redraft competition law for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He advises private companies from a wide range of sectors, including airlines, telecommunications, media and entertainment, internet and internet-enabled services, pharmaceuticals, automobile, cement, steel and tyres in proceedings before the CCI.

Rahul regularly writes on trade and competition law related issues for leading global journals, Indian business dailies and periodicals. He has also been invited to give lectures on trade and competition law, including at National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Rahul earned his BA LLB with honours at NUJS in India in 2007 and has completed his LLM in international economic law, business and policy from Stanford Law School in 2012. Rahul has been recognised as “world-leading competition future leaders” for competition by Who’s Who Legal and has also been featured by Global Competition Review in 2018.

Rahul has earned high praise from clients for his role in resolving high-stakes competition matters, including most recently: leading efforts on behalf of GTL Infrastructure Limited and Chennai Network Infrastructure Limited on their merger; negotiating and securing CCI approval on behalf of Syngenta AG on their sale to ChemChina; leading efforts to secure CCI approval for Dell Technologies’ US$67 billion acquisition of EMC Corporation; leading efforts to secure CCI approval for Tata Staeel Ltd’s US$5.2 billion acquisition of Bhushan Steel Ltd; leading efforts to secure CCI approval for Abbott Inc’s acquisition of St Jude Medical; securing dismissal of CCI’s appeal against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceuticals Ltd before the Supreme Court in a cartel case; securing dismissal of cartel allegations against Warner Bros before the CCI and securing dismissal of abuse of dominance allegations against UFO Moviez before the CCI. He is currently representing: Hoffmann La Roche, Genentech Inc and Roche India in a writ challenge to the CCI’s decision directing an inquiry for abuse of dominance, before the Delhi High Court; Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd in a writ challenge to the CCI’s decision levying penalty for abuse of dominance and Grasim Industries Limited in an appeal against the CCI’s order imposing penalty for bid rigging.

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