India antitrust body to investigate new economy sectors over competition malpractice

The study is not part of any ongoing investigation against any companies, yet.

Man holding smartphone. Photo from Unsplash.

Competition Commission of India (CCI), India’s antitrust watchdog established in 2003, is reportedly assessing competition malpractice in sectors including online content and e-commerce, concerning some of the country’s household names, from Reliance Industries and Star India to Amazon and Netflix.

The assessment, which will be one of the first, has a two-pronged aim, including “investigating antitrust practices and conduct market studies,” according to Reuters.

“This (study) would ensure that new practices and technologies in this dynamic sector…are identified quickly and remedial measures … adopted fast,” notes the CCI in a 19-page long document seen by Reuters.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Corporate Affairs Minister, said the study should evaluate the standard global practices of these companies and monitor whether these practices have led the global giants to abuse their position of dominance in the Indian market. According to her, “The new economy is a challenge now.”

The study is not part of any ongoing investigation against any companies, though.

CCI has already reviewed Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart in India’s booming e-commerce sector, though they have not lent their full participation in the scrutiny for fear of spilling out trade secrets. Google has also not escaped its notice in the mobile sector for apparently using to its advantage the popularity of its Android mobile operating system, to block out rivals.