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US tech giants say India panel’s recommended competition law is ‘absolutist and regressive’

US tech giants say India panel’s recommended competition law is ‘absolutist and regressive’

US tech giants say India panel's recommended competition law is 'absolutist and regressive'

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An influential industry group that represents Google, Meta and Amazon among other tech companies has raised concerns about the digital competition law recommended by an Indian parliamentary panel that seeks to regulate their alleged anti-competitive practices, calling the proposal “absolutist in nature. and regressive” in the latest escalation of tension between the US tech giants and New Delhi.

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The House of Commons Finance Committee last month recommended that the government pass a digital competition law to regulate anti-competitive business practices by Big Tech companies on its platforms, prohibiting them from preferentially promoting their internal brands or failing to support third-party systems. The Competition Act, the panel said, “will be a boon not only to our country and its nascent start-up economy, but to the entire world.”

Industry group Asia Internet Coalition said in a statement that the proposed Digital Competition Bill could harm digital innovation in India and could impact business investment in India and lead to “disproportionate costs” for businesses. consumers in the South Asian market. “The report presented by the committee is prescriptive, absolutist and regressive in nature,” he added.

The Indian panel said last month that its recommendation was of systemic importance in countering monopoly and warned that tech giants ‘must not favor their own offerings over competitors’ offerings’ when taking action. as mediators for supply and sales markets.

The parliamentary panel’s recommendation cites the proposed EU Digital Markets Act, the US Online Innovation and Choice Act and the Open Applications Marketplace Act.

Industry group AIC said AICOA and OAMA “failed to garner bipartisan support due to substantive disagreements and concerns about unintended consequences for consumers, growth and innovation. sum, there is no consensus that ex ante DMA-like legislation is the way forward to address potential competition concerns in the digital space,” he said in the statement. .

India is the second largest internet market in the world and has attracted more than $75 billion in investment from companies such as Google, Meta, Amazon and investment stores Sequoia, Lightspeed, SoftBank and Tiger Global over the past of the last decade. New Delhi has implemented and proposed a number of policy changes over the past three years to bring more accountability and fairness to the way tech companies operate in the country in moves that have rocked many US giants.

New Delhi enters 2023 with several other such policy changes, including a telecommunications law that would tighten the government’s grip on internet companies.

“We urge the government to first observe whether these overseas regulatory developments bring benefits that outweigh the costs. Specifically, it is important to note that the government has recently proposed two important bills, namely the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill and the Competition Bill (CAB), both of which seek to protect consumers, safeguard competition and promote technological innovation, with a particular focus on digital markets,” said Asia Internet Coalition.

“As a result, it is essential to first understand the effects of these two bills on the digital ecosystem before introducing new legislative proposals.”

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said last month India was going through an important period as it drafts several key regulations and said it would benefit from an open and connected internet.

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