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How could the Digital Competition Bill affect your business?


Leela Tarang Krishna

Company Essentials

The new Digital Competition Bill (the Bill) applies to companies that act as intermediaries and have significant power while dealing with consumers/businesses and/or labour markets. Moreover, it applies to intermediaries that provide specific services (called core digital services, i.e., web browsing, interpersonal communication services, online search engines, video-sharing platform services, operating systems, cloud services, advertising services, or other intermediation services).

Ex: Dominos is a Pizza provider. It has its proprietary app, which is a digital service that is provided to consumers. The Bill neither applies nor interferes with Dominos’s digital service (the app). This is because it is not an intermediary - it is a food services provider with a digital presence to make sales. On the other hand, Zomato / Swiggy / Uber Eats are dealing with restaurants like Dominos and other food providers while also coping with delivery partners and consumers that are ordering in - they fall under the purview of the Bill.

It only applies to these intermediaries (those with significant power and providing core digital services) because they are in the position to regulate the competition amongst businesses within the ecosystem and their platform. To that extent, it defines certain obligations that these companies must follow.

This article is divided into two chapters. The first one deals with the conditions that must be fulfilled by an intermediary for the Bill and its provisions to apply, and the second one deals with what those intermediaries can and can't do - obligations upon the intermediaries as per the bill.

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