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Companies, Competition, and the Indian Constitution
Apr 03, 2022.
Hope you are doing well. Over the last few weeks, a lot has happened in the Indian legal/ business space. Shark Tank was phenomenal, the budget came out, and Ashneer Grover got chucked out. With this backdrop, here are some fantastic law-allied books and articles I strongly recommend:
The Ashneer Grover saga: Textbook case of the founder’s dilemma in VC-backed stories, by Suhas Baliga.
Today’s youth wants to change the world - one crypto/ one classroom/ one conference at a time. However, founders seem to be dispensable these days, contrary to the myths of the founder taking an idea and converting it in to something magical. We have grown up with tales of companies going belly-up when founders were forced out - which one of us did not resonate so strongly to the story of Jobs coming back and leading Apple to success. In this piece, Suhas Baliga has a beautiful explainer on how claw-back provisions - which let investors snatch founders’ equity in their babies play out.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is one of the most powerful regulators in our country. When big companies commanding a significant marketshare merge, the CCI steps in to assess whether such a merger should be allowed - to ensure consumer’s interest and to preserve competition in the market. However, PVR and Inox, the titans of the Indian cinema-theatre industry decided to merge. Through a fantastic strategy devised by their lawyers, these giants have managed to escape the scrutiny of the CCI. Read this piece to know how timing their merger at the end of Covid has done wonders for them.
Soli Sorabjee was one of India’s legal giants. While he needs no introduction, there is a lot more to the man than just his achievements as a lawyer. This book looks at the larger life of Sorabjee. Two interesting points from the book - why was Sorabjee’s success rate as a lawyer much higher when he was a lawyer for the government (he surely did not become a good lawyer for just one client) and how did Sorabjee’s appearances in different courts (the Supreme Court, various High Courts, and a few tribunals) vary across his career. The second point is addressed through the number of reported judgments in which he had argued as against the year/ stage of his career. Abhinav is a good writer and if you liked his other works (like Supreme Whispers or Republic of Rhetoric) or if you are into biographies of Indian lawyers, I would strongly recommend this book.
I hoped you enjoyed today’s recommendations. Looking forward to writing to you soon.