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Digital markets have unchecked dominance, will prioritise scrutiny of online platforms: CCI Chairman

In his speech, the chairman identified the characteristics of digital market power and also laid out actions taken by the CCI to address competition inhibiting behaviour.  "Not long ago, it was widely contended that market power in technology markets is fleeting and interventions would entail a high risk of discouraging innovation. [...] However, critics of this notion of digital markets have pointed out that market dominance in these markets is not fragile, but durable," Ashok Gupta, Chairman, Competition Commission of India (CCI), said on July 29. Gupta was speaking at the launch of Initiative on Choice, Competition and Innovation (ICCI), a research initiative by the Center for the Digital Future (CDF). "The application of competition law in such disruptive technologies becomes challenging and the role of the competition authority in the regulatory architecture governing these technologies becomes extremely important," Gupta said. "The challenge lies in how to craft remedies. Be it antitrust or merger, is there a role for ex-ante regulation, are there blanket regulations or specificities of the platforms that have to be kept in mind?" he added. Why it matters? As the head of CCI, Gupta arguably plays the most important role in the country when it comes to competition and antitrust regulation. His views on competition in the digital markets give us insight into how the CCI is approaching spaces like e-commerce, food delivery, search engines, and operating systems, all of which are rife with anti-competition complaints and lawsuits. What are some characteristics of market power in the digital…

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