The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), which has Meta, Amazon, Twitter, Google, and other Big Tech firms as its members, has raised questions on the digital competition law urged by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, that “may dampen digital innovation in India.”
In a statement, the Coalition urged the Indian government to conduct more comprehensive stakeholder consultations to ensure that any new legislative recommendations meet international best practices, are evidence-based, and benefit innovation, growth, and consumers.
“Otherwise, 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,” said the Coalition.
Last month, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance urged that the Central Govt to prepare a digital competition act to handle anti-competitive practices in the market by Big Tech businesses.
The Coalition said the report put forward by the Committee is “prescriptive, absolutist and regressive in nature”.
The government of India has recently presented two important bills.
1. the revised Digital Personal Data Protection Bill and
2. the Competition Amendment Bill (CAB),
both of which seek to protect consumers, preserve competition and promote tech innovation, with a particular focus on digital markets.
The Coalition said it is critical to understand the “effects of these two bills on the digital ecosystem before introducing any new legislative proposals”.