The country’s new policy, according to a 15-page draft seen by Bloomberg and written by the Ministry of Commerce’s Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, dictates that a new eCommerce regulator be appointed, who would oversee the industry, making sure competition is active and everyone has access to the same set of information and resources.
The rules would also require that the government have access to online companies’ sources and algorithms, so as to do away with “digitally induced biases,” and look into determining whether companies have “explainable AI.”
All in all, the draft seeks to create fairness and level the playing field against unfair hoarding by the biggest and most powerful companies.
“It is in the interest of the Indian consumer and the local ecosystem that there are more service providers” and that “the network effects do not lead to creation of digital monopolies misusing their dominant market position,” the draft said, according to Bloomberg.
The tech market in India is booming, but global corporations are firmly entrenched as the dominant leaders in every field from online retail to content streaming to messaging and digital payments. India’s government has been fighting back against this monopolistic tendency as of late, including banning dozens of apps backed by Chinese tech titans.
The corporations have been heavily spending in India’s telecom market recently due to the higher-than-usual adoption of mobile apps and technology there. According to stats quoted in a recent PYMNTS report, 67 percent of mobile users are utilizing digital payments in India, up from 57 before the pandemic, and higher than the global 47 percent.
As such, Facebook and Silver Lake have dumped billions into Jio Platforms, the Reliance Industries subsidiary for telecommunications. Amazon, meanwhile, is allegedly looking into buying a $2 billion stake in Bharti Airtel, the third-largest operator there, which the company has denied is happening.