1India’s new competition law targets big tech giants

  • New competition law targets big tech with 10% India transactions.
  • Firms over INR 2,000 Cr turnover to be included.
  • Committee formed to review existing norms.
  • Neutrality and fairness key in law drafting.
  • Government directives spur regulatory reform.

Introduction :

The upcoming implementation of a new competition law would cause a dramatic upheaval in India’s regulatory landscape. The law, which aims to address antitrust concerns about huge digital intermediaries, is expected to include big tech giants.

Expanding law Jurisdiction :

According to sources, the proposed bill will expand its scope to include digital corporations with significant operations in India. Specifically, organisations with 10% of their worldwide user base or business transactions in the country will be protected. Furthermore, regardless of other criteria, tech companies with revenues in excess of INR 2,000 crore in India will be subject to the rule.

Initiative and Committee Formation :

In response to rising concerns, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) formed a ten-member group last year. The group, chaired by corporate affairs secretary Manoj Govil, is tasked with reassessing existing competition laws and investigating the need for a new legal framework designed specifically to oversee digital firms.

Inclusion criteria and exclusions :

One striking component of the proposed law is its emphasis on significant corporate operations as a key determinant of inclusion. While major players attract scrutiny, smaller firms are more likely to operate outside of the regulatory system in order to stimulate innovation and competition.

Protecting Neutrality and Fair Practices :

The group charged with developing the law also intends to address concerns about abuse of authority and bias on digital platforms. Measures to maintain neutrality and prevent search engine bias are likely to be implemented in order to create a level playing field.

Government Role and Finalisation :

The committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to both the finance and corporate affairs ministries. These ideas are expected to establish the framework for the new digital competition law, with the corporate affairs ministry directing the finalisation process, which will include input from several agencies.

Starting the Reform :

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance issued a directive pushing the government to reign in giant tech players through new regulatory measures, which prompted this legislative revision. Google, Apple, and Facebook have all under regulatory scrutiny in India for alleged abuses of power and anti-competitive behaviour.

Regulatory scrutiny and allegations :

Google received fines from the CCI in 2022, demonstrating the regulatory body’s attention in enforcing antitrust legislation. Meanwhile, Apple’s app store payment model has sparked debate, reflecting broader concerns about market dominance and compliance with Indian legislation.

Startup Criticism and Market Dynamics :

Indian entrepreneurs have emerged as loud opponents of large technology companies, accusing them of violating local norms and abusing their market dominance. This critique emphasises the urgent need for regulatory reforms to maintain a level playing field in India’s digital ecosystem.

Conclusion :

As India prepares to usher in a new era of competition regulation, the proposed digital competition law is an important step towards reducing anti-competitive practices and promoting fair competition in the digital arena. The proposed reforms, which will be implemented in collaboration with regulatory bodies and stakeholders, seek to stimulate innovation while protecting consumer interests in the expanding digital landscape.

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