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US Lobby Group Urges India to Reconsider Proposed EU-Like Competition Law

 |  May 28, 2024

A prominent U.S. lobby group representing tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple has called on India to reassess its proposed competition law, arguing that new regulations on data use and preferential treatment of partners could lead to higher costs for users.

This appeal was made in a letter from the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), a part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to India’s Corporate Affairs Ministry on May 15.

The Indian government’s move comes in response to the increasing market dominance of a few large digital companies in the country. In February, a government panel recommended imposing new obligations on these firms through a proposed “Digital Competition Bill” designed to complement existing regulations. The panel criticized the current enforcement mechanisms as “time-consuming,” according to a Reuters report.

Read more: Google Accuses India’s Competition Commission of Protecting Amazon

The proposed India competition law is modeled after the European Union’s landmark Digital Markets Act of 2022. It targets major firms with a global turnover exceeding $30 billion and at least 10 million local users, thereby encompassing some of the world’s largest tech companies. Key provisions of the proposed bill include prohibiting companies from exploiting non-public user data and from giving preferential treatment to their own services over those of competitors. It also aims to lift restrictions on downloading third-party apps.

USIBC’s letter, which has not been made public but was seen by Reuters, argues that the proposed Indian law goes “much further in scope” than the EU’s regulations. The group contends that the strategies employed by tech companies to launch new features and enhance user security could be severely impacted. They warn that these measures, if implemented, could hamper innovation and result in higher costs for consumers.

Source: Reuters