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India's Digital Competition Bill marks paradigm shift to tackle Big Tech monopoly: ADIF

IANS | May 22, 2024 04:57 PM

NEW DELHI: The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), a think tank representing homegrown digital startups, on Wednesday welcomed the government's move to introduce an ex-ante regulatory framework through the Draft Digital Competition Bill, 2024 to curb the Big Tech monopoly.

This legislation, said the ADIF, marks a paradigm shift in the country’s approach to tackling the "unbridled dominance of Big Tech gatekeepers" while fostering an equitable digital economy where startups and innovation can thrive.

"Big Tech gatekeepers have repeatedly demonstrated an uncanny ability to undermine conventional antitrust enforcement through a barrage of litigations and tweaking policies to circumvent the spirit of the law, " said Prateek Jain, Associate Director, ADIF.

This has severely undermined competition in digital markets globally, adversely impacting consumer interests and stifling innovation. Existing competition laws have proved woefully inadequate to deal with the winner-take-all dynamics where network effects and data asymmetries enable these gatekeepers to cement monopolistic practices.

ADIF has proposed a roadmap with recommendations like learning from the European Union's experience with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

"To ensure effective regulation keeping pace with the rapidly evolving digital landscape, ADIF recommends constituting a dedicated unit with multi-disciplinary technical expertise within the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to oversee implementation and compliance of the new framework, " the ADIF, which represents over 500 homegrown digital startups united by the vision of establishing India as the world's preeminent startup hub, said.

Meanwhile, the ADIF and IIT Guwahati Technology Incubation Centre on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote entrepreneurship and provide support to technology startups.

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