What’s Happening with India’s EU-Like Antitrust Law?

The global regulatory climate is heating up, and now, throwing more fuel onto the proverbial fire, India’s EU-like antitrust law will be a challenge for tech firms.

The challenges center on the proposed “Digital Competition Bill” affecting systemically significant digital companies. Significant means a $480M domestic or global turnover of more than $30B and a local user base of 10 million for its digital services.

A government panel claims that new regulations are needed as the digital market is concentrated, and a few large companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, and Meta, have control over markets.

Under the proposed law, companies would need to operate in a fair, non-discriminatory manner or pay a penalty of up to 10% of their global turnover for violations (a page out of the EU’s Digital Markets Act). Big companies would not be allowed to exploit non-public user data or favor their own products or services on their platforms. They could also not restrict users from downloading, installing, or using third-party apps, and users would be able to freely select their default settings. Examples in India include Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkarts, which promote select sellers.

Google is said to be abusing its Android OS position, restricting the ability to remove pre-installed apps. There are also claims that both Google and Apple are promoting their in-app purchase systems, hurting competition.

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