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Big tech firms challenged by the Parliamentary Panel ahead of the upcoming Fair Competition Framework for Digital Markets

On Tuesday, a parliamentary panel reportedly grilled Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Uber about alleged anti-competitive practises. According to the report, the panel discussed a legal framework to ensure fair competition in the country. The move comes just months after the European Union passed the Digital Markets Act, which takes effect next year. The parliamentary panel previously questioned representatives from eight companies, including Zomato, Swiggy, Flipkart, and MakeMyTrip, last month.

According to a PTI report, members of the parliamentary panel, led by Union Minister Jayant Sinha, suggested that they wanted legislation that was “not business unfriendly but also saves the interests of consumers.”

The panel also suggested that the major tech firms “leave it to the limited wisdom of lawmakers to regulate in the manner that they deemed fit,” after the firms suggested that no additional regulation was required, as per the report.

Amazon India Country Manager, Consumer Business, Manish Tiwary, and Apple India Managing Director Strategy and Policy, Virat Bhatia, were among those in attendance at the hearing on Tuesday. According to the report, representatives who testified before the panel included Facebook India Head of Public Policy Rajiv Aggarwal, Google India Director Government Affairs and Public Policy Archana Gulati, Netflix India Director Head of Indian Policy Ambika Khurana, Twitter India Senior Director Public Policy Samiran Gupta, and Uber India and South Asia President Prabhjeet Singh.

The minister reportedly said after the meeting that the panel is working on a report on the development of competition law for digital markets that will specifically deal with issues related to competitive conduct and competitive behaviour. The minister also added that the panel will also study issues related to pricing, platform neutrality, and how data is used in neighbouring markets. The report is anticipated in the first week of September.

In addition, the minister added that while the report will “intensively examine and consider competition law linked with digital markets around the world,” it would also take into account the particular conditions of the nation. The EU passed the momentous Digital Markets Act last month, which includes a number of regulations aimed at reining in internet behemoths like Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft.

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