wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Is ex-ante regulation of digital markets a bad idea for India? #NAMA

“the reasoning behind ex-ante regulations is that investigations take time, and there is a possibility that by the time some decision is made on competition-related issues, it is no longer applicable”

On February 6, this year, the Indian government set up a Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL) to examine the need for a separate law on competition in digital markets. This committee was tasked with studying whether India needed ex-ante regulations that would preemptively prevent larger e-commerce platforms and digital markets from engaging in conduct that hinders market competition. As of May, the CDCL is yet to submit its report on the issue and there has been an ongoing conversation around the idea of ex-ante regulation. 

“If you want to protect consumers, I personally believe that the way to do that is through the Consumer Protection Act. If you have security concerns, then perhaps, The IT Act or the Digital India Act is the way to go, right? With marketplaces, it becomes a bit tricky because you’re trying to balance all of these factors,” said Shruti Aji Murali, legal counsel at Axiom5 Law Chambers, joining this conversation during the “Regulating Marketplaces: E-commerce and App Stores” panel at MediaNama’s MarketsNama conference last Friday. 


FREE READ of the day by MediaNama: Click here to sign-up for our daily newsletter with the top story of the day delivered daily before 9 AM in your inbox.


Pre-establishes obligation 

One of the panelists, Abir Roy, the co-founder of Sarvada Legal and a competition law expert, says that the reasoning behind ex-ante regulations is that investigations take time, and there is a possibility that by the time some decision is made on competition-related issues, it is no longer applicable. “It’s operation successful patient dead kind of a situation. If that is the case, shouldn’t some obligations be there?” 

MediaNama hosted this discussion with support from Salesforce, Google and Mozilla. Internet Freedom Foundation, and our community partners, the Centre for Internet and Society and Alliance of Digital India Foundation.

Does not cater to individual business needs

Another panelist, Gowree Gokhale, a legal associate at Nishith Desai Associates, mentioned that ex-ante regulation assumes that every business is identical. She said that an ex-ante regulation could ban tie-ins (these are products/services that are part of a digital market and have to be compulsorily used when accessing the market) when in fact, such tie-ins could be an important part of someone’s business model and could be something they are offering for free. “When you say ex-ante, you are stopping innovation. You are stopping new business models. You are stopping new ecosystems,” she added.

Her idea was that companies should be able to approach the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and explain their market ecosystem and that their tie-ins will not harm the market.

Is ex-ante creating an India vs foreign companies narrative?

Recently, Indian startup founders have been critical of the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI, a tech industry with members like Google, Meta, and Amazon) saying that the organization favors the interests of foreign companies. This was a response to IAMAI voicing its opinions against ex-ante regulations saying that “the current regulatory framework provides ample room for CCI to intervene swiftly as and when necessary, without over-regulating the sector.” 

Nikhil Pahwa, the founder of MediaNama, brought the IAMAI vs Indian startup founder debate to the discussion by suggesting that Indian tech founders are being myopic towards how ex-ante will impact them in the future. “It’s [the discussion on ex-ante] fixated only on the situation with Google and Indian founders. I mean, there are other monopolies in play, like Naukri.com has a known monopoly for the largest job aggregator in the country, right? Policy Bazaar, again, is the largest insurance aggregator in the country. The same ex-ante regulations are also going to apply to them as well.”


This post is released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. Please feel free to republish on your site, with attribution and a link. Adaptation and rewriting, though allowed, should be true to the original.

Also read:

 

Written By

Free Reads

News

Tata Restart website was using the trademark of Tata Sons and the image of Ratan Tata.

News

The hackers used the fake Facebook ads to target people based in European countries, specially male users, said the report

News

GPT-4 Turbo with Vision builds upon the foundation of the GPT-4 model, integrating the enhanced token outputs introduced in the Turbo model, and now...

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

NPCI CEO Dilip Asbe recently said that what is not written in regulations is a no-go for fintech entities. But following this advice could...

News

Notably, Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing without having to pay any commission to Indus, a...

News

The existing commission-based model, which companies like Uber and Ola have used for a long time and still stick to, has received criticism from...

News

Factors like Indus not charging developers any commission for in-app payments and antitrust orders issued by India's competition regulator against Google could contribute to...

News

Is open-sourcing of AI, and the use cases that come with it, a good starting point to discuss the responsibility and liability of AI?...

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ