In what should dispel concerns of possible overlap of responsibilities of regulation of digital markets, Ministry of Corporate Affairs on July 6 said that it would look into competition issues in the sector, while Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will look into “sector-specific and technical issues”.
While MeitY is slated to come up with the Digital India Bill which would supersede the Information Technology Act 2000, an MCA-appointed panel is working on the Digital Competiton Law — a separate law that is aimed at tackling Big Tech firms’ anti-competitive practices.
In a tweet MCA said, “A meeting between officials of @GoI_MeitY
& @MCA21India was held where concerns regarding Systematically Important Digital Intermediaries (SIDIs) were discussed. It has been decided that MCA will look into the competition issues in digital market.”
In December 2022, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance released a report recommending the government to introduce a Digital Competition Law aimed at addressing alleged anti-competitive practices by Big Tech companies.
The committee also suggested defining these companies as SIDIs based on their revenues, market capitalization, and the number of end users.The government then formed the CDCL, which was tasked with examining the “need for a separate law on competition in digital markets”.
Until recently, CDCL was accepting inputs from various stakeholders on the digital competition law.
However, industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) courted controversy when, in their inputs to the committee, they argued against the need of such a law. Indian entrepreneurs had accused the body of “parroting” views of Big Tech.
The controversy ultimately culminated into the voting out of Big Tech members from IAMAI’s governing council. Moneycontrol