US Tech Giants Lobby Group Opposes India's Digital Competition Bill

US Tech Giants Lobby Group Opposes India's Digital Competition Bill
Photo: Getty Images 29.05.2024 524

The top US lobby group has warned that the forthcoming Digital Competition Bill could lead to negative consequences for businesses.

A U.S. lobby group representing tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple has asked India to rethink its proposed EU-like competition law, arguing regulations against data use and preferential treatment of partners could raise user costs, a letter shows.

Citing increasing market power of a few big digital companies in India, a government panel in February imposing obligations on them under a new antitrust law which will complement existing regulations whose enforcement the panel said is "time-consuming".

India's "Digital Competition Bill" is on the lines of EU's landmark Digital Markets Act 2022. It will apply to big firms, including those with a global turnover of over $30 billion and whose digital services have at least 10 million users locally, bringing some of the world's biggest tech firms under its ambit.

It proposes to prohibit companies from exploiting non-public data of its users and promoting their own services over rivals, and also abolish restrictions on downloading of third-party apps.

Companies deploy these strategies to launch new product features and boost security for users, and curbing them will hit their plans, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a May 15 letter to India's Corporate Affairs Ministry, which is working on the law.

"Targeted companies are likely to reduce investment in India, pass on increased prices for digital services, and reduce the range of services," 

says the letter, which has not been made public but was seen by Reuters.

A group of 40 Indian startups, though, has come out in support of the new Indian law, saying it can help address monopolistic practices of dominant digital platforms and create a level playing field for smaller companies.

There is no fixed timeline, but the Indian government will next review feedback on the proposal before seeking parliament approval with or without changes.

Source: Reuters

digital markets  India 

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