Ravneet Kaur. (file photo)
Ravneet Kaur. (file photo)

CCI tracking data dominance, algorithmic collusion

Speaking at the 15th annual day celebration of the CCI, Kaur said companies that can collect, analyse and leverage vast amounts of data can gain major competitive advantage.

NEW DELHI: Ravneet Kaur, Chairperson of anti-trust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI), has raised concerns over data dominance where control over large data sets creates insurmountable entry barriers for new businesses.

Speaking at the 15th annual day celebration of the CCI, Kaur said companies that can collect, analyse and leverage vast amounts of data can gain major competitive advantage.

She says algorithms play a central role in digital markets, from shaping user experiences to making pricing and product placement decisions, and added that the opacity of these algorithms can make it challenging to assess their impact on competition.

“Issues like algorithmic collusion, where algorithms might implicitly coordinate prices or market strategies without explicit human direction, pose novel challenges for competition authorities,” said Kaur.

Commenting on digital market, which according to her is posing new challenges for anti-trust regulators globally, she said it has the tendency towards market concentration, and many digital platforms benefit from network effects, where value of the services rise as more users join the platform.

This can quickly lead to a winners-take-all scenario, where one or a few companies can dominate the market.

The CCI chairperson added that the regulator has undertaken a market study on artificial intelligence, which has the transformative capabilities but at the same time pose competition challenges. As per her, the study would be a knowledge building exercise to develop and in-depth understanding of the emerging competitive landscape, development of ecosystem and implication of AI application on competition, efficiency and innovation in user industries.

She enlisted important steps taken by the regulator over the past one years. These include the introduction of settlement and commitments, deal value threshold for notifying mergers and acquisitions, explicit introduction of hub and spoke models in the statute books, and the introduction of the concept of leniency plus.

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The New Indian Express
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