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Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, Jayant Sinha, who also heads the standing committee on finance, will table a private member’s Bill on Friday that deals with anti-competitive practices by big tech companies. Sinha told Business Standard that the idea behind introducing the Bill was to present an example of what such a law would look like.
“I had originally named it the Digital Competition Bill. However, the Lok Sabha Secretariat, in its wisdom, decided to call it Bill to amend the Competition Act, 2002. Both are completely different matters,” Sinha said.
Business Standard had earlier reported that Sinha, who is a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, is expected to introduce a Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023, introducing changes to the 2022 Bill that is awaiting Parliament’s approval.
Sinha said that was not the case, and that the Centre was bringing its own amendments to the competition law.
“The bill I am introducing is based on the hearings that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has had with big tech companies. In an earlier report, we had suggested the need for a Bill to deal with anti-competitive practices by big tech,” Sinha said.
When asked why, as a member of the ruling party, he was tabling a private Bill when the government could do so, Sinha said his bill would inform the Centre’s decisions. “The government gets many inputs on this and other issues. My Bill will also act as an input,” he said.
Sinha had earlier said that dominant tech companies that are to be identified as digital gatekeepers will have to file annual compliance reports to a regulator under a proposed digital competition Act, which would set fair conduct norms for these entities.
Separately, the corporate affairs ministry has also held stakeholder discussions on the digital competition law with the likes of Amazon, Uber, Flipkart, Meta, and Google. The MCA has formed an inter-ministerial committee with legal experts to draft the digital competition law including ex-ante regulations.
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First Published: Thu, March 16 2023. 21:21 IST
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