MCA Extends Tenure of Panel on Digital Competition Law

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has extended the tenure of the inter-ministerial Committee on digital competition law till October end. To date, several extensions have been granted to the Committee to submit its report, based on which a Bill would be drafted.

The 16-member Committee on digital competition law was set up by the Ministry in February. The same was pursuant to the 2022 report on anti-competitive practices of big tech companies, submitted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. In its report, the Standing Committee highlighted the need to regulate the digital markets to prevent monopoly and urged the Government to bring in a Digital Competition Act to “ensure a fair, transparent, and contestable digital ecosystem”.

Contemplating the possibility of regulatory overlaps, the Government has tasked the Ministry of Corporate Affairs with addressing issues of competition in the digital market and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) with tackling sector-specific and technical issues.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court was to hear the appeals filed by Google challenging the penalty of Rs.1337.76 Crore imposed for abuse of its dominant position.[1] However, it is reported that the matter will be heard in the last week of January 2024. The Apex Court’s verdict would have a far-reaching impact on the industry and hence, this space is being closely monitored by the stakeholders.

[1] Google LLC & Anr. v. Competition Commission of India & Ors. (CA No.4098/2023)