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CCI to set up in-house digital mkt data unit

Currently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is in the process of setting up an in-house data unit that which may act as a “force multiplier” to help the competition regulator navigate the challenges involved in regulating digital markets, as well as being able to analyze the impact of digital markets on the competition.

“Building capacities is a prerequisite for effective interventions in the markets. Therefore, regulators must equip themselves beforehand with necessary skills and capacities to deal with market distortions in complex technology markets. Realising this, the CCI is already in the process of establishing and operationalising digital market data unit,” Jyoti Jindgar Bhanot, secretary (I/c) of the CCI, said.

According to her, early intervention is a critical component to ensuring that the competitive landscape in digital markets is not irreparably damaged by distortion beyond repair.

“In the digital space, and particularly in the platform markets, tipping off the market can happen at a pace unimaginable from the perspective of traditional market competition regulations,” Bhanot said while speaking at the international conference on “Competition and Big Tech” organised by BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre and CUTS International.

A number of leading experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world attended the conference to discuss how emerging issues in competition law might affect the economies of BRICS countries.

Anti-competitive practices in the automobile markets and industry 4.0, an ecological approach to competition law in the new economy, and ex-ante rules and competition law for the digital economy were among the key issues discussed.

Bhanot opined that ex-ante approach to competition laws is increasingly getting a global traction.

“Such framework seeks to address the unique challenges of the digital economy by setting clear and predictable rules for market entry, data access, interoperability etc. Designing and implementing effective ex-ante rules require a careful balancing of conflicting interests including the need to protect privacy, incentivised investments, and innovation,” she added.

Google, Apple, Meta, and Amazon, some of the biggest tech companies in the world, are under severe scrutiny for allegedly abusing their market position by browsing chunks of the personal data of their users.

Earlier this year, the CCI slapped Google with Rs. 936.44 and Rs 1,337.76 crore penalties in two separate cases.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has formed a committee for drafting a digital competition bill.

In addition, the panel is examining whether the existing provisions in the Competition Act, 2002 and related regulations were adequate in order to deal with the challenges that face the digital economy today.

The CCI has to provide secretarial and research assistance and logistic support to the panel. Legal Era Online

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