India’s Draft Digital Competition Bill, 2024

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May 18, 2024

India’s Draft Digital Competition Bill, 2024

India’s Draft Digital Competition Bill, proposed in March 2024, aims to regulate large digital enterprises and promote a fair and competitive digital marketplace. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

  • Focus: The Bill targets companies designated as Systematically Significant Digital Enterprises (SSDEs) based on factors like turnover, user base, and market influence. This likely applies to major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and some large Indian digital firms.
  • Objectives:
    • Prevent anti-competitive practices like self-preferencing (favoring the company’s own services) and data dominance (using data from one service to benefit another).
    • Promote innovation and user choice in the digital market.
  • Key Features:
    • Do’s and Don’ts: The Bill outlines specific actions SSDEs are prohibited from taking, such as bundling services or imposing unfair terms on businesses that rely on their platforms.
    • Presumptive norms: The Bill aims to identify and curb potential anti-competitive practices before they occur.
    • Penalties: The Bill proposes heavy penalties for violations, potentially amounting to billions of dollars.

Inspiration and Similarities:

  • The Bill draws inspiration from the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) implemented earlier in 2024, which has similar goals of regulating large tech companies.

Criticisms and Concerns:

  • Big Tech companies may oppose the Bill due to restrictions on their operations.
  • Balancing innovation and competition is a potential challenge.

Current Status:

  • The Bill is currently a draft and is undergoing public consultation and review by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

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India’s Draft Digital Competition Bill, 2024 | Vaid ICS Institute