BENGALURU: India’s competition regulator will expedite its anti-trust probes against tech giants that have consolidated their market share since past several years.
A recently concluded study on digital economy of India has revealed that the big e-commerce companies have been leveraging the large data at their disposal for undue advantage to select sellers, have ownership/ tie-ups with third party labels being sold on their platforms and are stifling the competition, said Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
“Digital platforms leverage algorithms which may result in influencing inter brand, intra brand competition, favour their private label business. Such conduct may have impact on competition neutrality, loss of business to seller, increase in cost of sellers / smaller retailers who wish to increase the visibility on these marketplaces,” Gupta said, while delivering a keynote address at the Initiative of Choice, Competition and Innovation(ICCI), organised by the Centre for the Digital Future on Thursday.
The CCI Chief said that the control of exclusionary data by the companies has also been included under competition reviews.
The fresh criticism comes on the heels of a prolonged legal tussle between the e-tailers like Amazon and Walmart owned Flipkart which have told the Supreme Court in their filings that they should restrain the watchdog from seeking sensitive business information from the companies during the ongoing enquiries. The e-marketplaces’ recent pleas for quashing the CCI probe were rejected by the Karnataka High Court
Gupta said that CCI is committed to complete all the ongoing investigations in a speedily manner and impressed upon the implementation of the competition laws, will create a level-playing field for all the market players.
“Digital platforms, app stores, e-commerce companies control bottomline infrastructure on the internet. Both supply and demand side depend on these platforms putting them at a huge advantage with unequal bargaining power. CCI will address these concerns,” the top government official noted.
“Digital platforms leverage algorithms which may result in influencing inter brand, intra brand competition, favour their private label business,” says CCI Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta