The new competition report put forward by India's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance is "prescriptive, absolutist and regressive in nature," and the government needs to conduct wider stakeholder consultations before borrowing any proposals from the report, specifically the proposal of ex-ante regulations for digital markets, the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), which consists of companies like Amazon, Google, and Meta, said in a statement published on January 6. Read: Summary of the Parliament Panel Report On Big Tech’s Unfair Practices In Digital Markets Why does this matter: Ex-ante regulation refers to measures geared at preventing anti-competitive conduct from taking place in the first place, rather than addressing such conduct after they have occurred. The European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) are examples of ex-ante regulation because they classify certain large companies as gatekeepers and prescribe measures to monitor and restrain their conduct. There has been a growing momentum (and even some consensus) to institute such ex-ante regulations in India, but AIC claims that such regulations are not the best approach for India. Cannot merely try transplant regulations meant for other countries: "Transplanting legislative reforms designed for a foreign jurisdiction with high digital penetration into India, could lead to disproportionate costs to consumers in India and an impact on innovation and investment by businesses in India - especially at a time when the government is rightly focusing on bringing connectivity to all under the Digital India initiative," AIC opined, citing the report's references to the EU's DMA. No consensus that ex-ante…
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