Google, Amazon, Apple lobby group opposes India’s antitrust proposal, similar to European Union


Our Bureau

New Delhi

According to a Reuters report, a US lobby group representing tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple has asked India to rethink its proposed EU-like competition law, arguing regulations against data use and preferential treatment of partners could raise user costs. Antitrust laws are regulations that encourage competition by limiting the market power of any particular firm.

On February 6, 2023, the Government of India established the Committee on Digital Competition Law (Committee), an expert group of industry chambers, policymakers, and scholars. The purpose was to review the current provisions of the Competition Act of 2002 and assess whether its provisions are sufficient to deal with concerns associated with the continued growth of the digital economy or if new tools are needed.

India’s “Digital Competition Bill” is similar to EU’s landmark Digital Markets Act 2022. It will apply to big firms, including those with a global turnover of over $30 billion and whose digital services have at least 10 million users locally, bringing some of the world’s biggest tech firms under its ambit.

It proposes to prohibit companies from exploiting non-public data of its users and promoting their own services over rivals, and also abolish restrictions on downloading of third-party apps.

Citing increasing market power of a few big digital companies in India, a government panel in February proposed, opens new tab imposing obligations on them under a new antitrust law which will complement existing regulations whose enforcement the panel said is “time-consuming”.

The report by reuters further elaborates that companies deploy these strategies to launch new product features and boost security for users, and curbing them will hit their plans, the US-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the US Chamber of Commerce, said in a May 15 letter to India’s Corporate Affairs Ministry, which is working on the law.

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