Factbox Indias EU like antitrust law worrying technology firms
Factbox Indias EU like antitrust law worrying technology firms

Factbox-India’s EU-like antitrust law worrying technology firms

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s proposed EU-like antitrust law will pose a fresh regulatory challenge for tech firms including Apple, Google and Meta, laying out strict compliance obligations that could affect their business models.

The Indian government is currently examining a panel’s February report that proposed a new “Digital Competition Bill” to complement existing antitrust laws. A key U.S. lobby group has already opposed the move, fearing its business impact.

Here are key details of India’s proposal:

WHO WOULD THE LAW APPLY TO?

The law would affect what it says are “systemically significant digital” companies. Those with a domestic turnover exceeding $480 million or a global turnover of over $30 billion, along with a local user base of at least 10 million for its digital services, would be covered.

Apple, Google, Meta, Amazon would come under the purview of the Indian law, which has yet to be approved by parliament.

WHY DOES INDIA WANT A NEW ANTITRUST LAW?

The government panel said new regulations were needed as the digital market was “increasingly becoming concentrated”, with a few large companies wielding “immense control over the market.”

That, the panel said, meant smaller digital firms and startups need to depend on the larger companies, giving rise to “an imbalance in bargaining power”.

WHAT WOULD THE NEW LAW REQUIRE?

Companies would be required to operate in a fair and non-discriminatory manner, with the bill recommending a penalty of up to 10% of a company’s global turnover for violations – just like EU’s Digital Markets Act.

The big digital companies would be prohibited from exploiting non-public user data and from favouring their own products or services on their platforms.

The companies would also be barred from restricting the ability of users to download, install or use third-party apps in anyway. And they would have to allow users to select default settings freely.

The law proposal and feedback received will now be reviewed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, whose minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, remains in place following India’s election.

WHICH TECH FIRMS ALREADY FACE INDIA’S SCRUTINY?

In India, Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart are being examined for promoting select sellers on their e-commerce platforms, hurting rivals.

Google has faced antitrust fines and is embroiled in legal battles over abusing its position in the Android mobile operating system market, including restricting users’ ability to remove pre-installed apps.

Google, as well as Apple, are also facing scrutiny for promoting their in-app purchase systems, which a non-profit group alleges hurts rivals.

All the companies deny any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Sonali Paul)

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