CCI conducting inquiries against some fintech entities: Ravneet Kaur | News

Ravneet Kaur

Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairperson Ravneet Kaur

Fair trade watchdog CCI is conducting inquiries against some fintech entities to check whether their ways of leveraging technologies are impacting competition, its chief Ravneet Kaur said and asserted that the regulator is taking necessary action to ensure a competitive digital market.

With a slew of amended regulations, key rulings against anti-competitive practices in the digital market and advocacy efforts, the CCI is strengthening its efforts to curb unfair business ways.

In an interview to PTI, Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairperson Ravneet Kaur said there is an increased sensitization among entities about the competition law and stressed the focus is on “striking the right balance between regulation and freedom”.

According to her, the regulator is focused on big tech companies as well as various other sectors, including fintech and online intermediary service providers.

“The CCI is conducting inquiries into several entities in the fintech sector. We are looking into how technology is being leveraged by fintech players and whether they are impacting competition (in the market). The inquiries are going on,” Kaur said.

Without divulging specific details, he also said the regulator is looking into several cases in the film industry, especially those related to film distributors.

By addressing potential market distortions and promoting healthy competition, Kaur said that the CCI anticipates a positive impact on the economy, leading to enhanced consumer choice, innovation, and overall economic growth.

“It is about striking the right balance between regulation and freedom, ensuring that the market remains contestable and operates fairly for all stakeholders,” he noted.

Emphasizing that the watchdog is expediting cases related to the digital market, Kaur said that companies are increasingly aware of the importance of adhering to competition laws, which will ensure a more transparent and fairer digital marketplace.

“While legal challenges are part of the regulatory landscape, the focus remains on creating an environment where competition thrives. It is a continuous process, and we are committed to monitoring, assessing, and taking necessary action to ensure a competitive digital market,” she added.

The Digital Market Data Unit (DMDU) has also started functioning at the CCI.

“There has been a lot of change and companies are realizing that they cannot get away by indulging in anti-competitive practices. We are not only looking at enforcement actions but also advocacy efforts, and overall, there has been a positive impact,” Kaur said in response to a query about the impact on the market following the CCI’s major rulings against Google.

The CCI, which has the mandate to ensure fair competition in the marketplace, has passed various rulings against Google, including those related to Android system and Play Store pricing policy.

On March 15, the watchdog ordered a detailed probe against Google for alleged discriminatory practices with respect to its Play Store pricing policy after finding a prima facie violation of the competition law.

In August 2023, the corporate affairs ministry informed the Rajya Sabha that inquiries against various companies, including Amazon and Flipkart were pending before the CCI.

“Inquiry against Amazon & Flipkart, BookMyShow, Zomato & Swiggy, WhatsApp & Facebook (Meta), Apple and Google (in matters other than those where orders under Section 27 of the Act have already passed) is currently pending before the CCI,” Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh had said in a written reply to the Upper House.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mar 27 2024 | 10:51 PM IST

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