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Bharat Matrimony, ShareChat, and more oppose IAMAI’s stance on Digital Competition Bill

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In Short:

Four Indian digital companies have disagreed with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) regarding the Digital Competition Bill. They are urging the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to implement ex-ante regulations to control anti-competitive practices of Big Tech companies. They believe that IAMAI’s views do not represent the entire digital startup ecosystem, and that opposition to ex-ante regulations will maintain the status quo and stifle competition and innovation.

Indian Digital Companies Call for Ex-Ante Regulations in Digital Competition Bill

Four Indian digital companies, namely Bharat Matrimony, Match Group, ShareChat, and Hoichoi, have come forward with a different perspective on the draft of the Digital Competition Bill. They are urging the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to implement ex-ante regulations promptly.

Addressing Concerns of Indian Startups

These companies are highlighting the importance of ex-ante regulations to combat anti-competitive behaviors of Big Tech firms. They aim to tackle longstanding issues that hinder innovation, limit consumer choice, and impede the growth of young businesses.

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In a letter to Manoj Govil, Secretary Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the four companies expressed their disagreement with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) submission. They believe that opposing ex-ante regulations and sticking to the ex post regime will maintain the status quo and allow dominant players to exploit regulatory gaps.

Concerns Raised by IAMAI

The IAMAI, representing a wide range of digital entities, had previously warned that the proposed regulations could hamper investment in technology startups.

  • Also read: Indian innovators rally behind Digital Competition Bill

One of the provisions in the draft bill introduces additional requirements for Systematically Significant Digital Enterprises (SSDEs) to prevent anti-competitive practices. IAMAI raised concerns that these criteria could encompass the entire Indian digital sector.

Focusing on Big Tech Companies

The four companies opposing IAMAI’s stance suggest that the new law should only target the largest digital gatekeepers, commonly known as ‘Big Tech’ companies, who have gained from network effects.

  • Also read: 40 Indian startups unite to support draft Digital Competition Bill

They point to the European Union’s approach with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), where only six major companies were designated under its jurisdiction. Therefore, they argue that concerns about the scope of SSDEs covering the entire Indian digital sector are exaggerated.

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