The Centre on Law, Regulation and Technology (CLRT) advocates legal and economic regulation that places consumer welfare and innovation at the core of the modern economy. CLRT aims at blending academic rigour with policy research to inform decision making on economic activities related but not limited to telecommunications, new technology, and digitization. The Covid-19 pandemic has catalysed the uptake of digital technologies, reaching masses hitherto untouched. The Centre endeavours to harness the process of digitization, through a robust legal and regulatory framework, towards ensuring welfare.
CLRT is a platform that nurtures ideas by bringing together regulators, academia, industry, policymakers, and civil society. Through its inter-disciplinary research work, the Centre aims to periodically contribute to policy discourse through reports, expert analysis and research papers.
Dr. Vikas Kathuria
School of Law
Unfair Business Practices of E-Commerce Platforms and the Need for Ex-Ante Regulation for Digital Markets
A Reuters investigation in October 2021 revealed that Amazon, a leading e-commerce platform in India, copied products of retailers that it hosted and downgraded them in search rankings to promote Amazon’s private label allowing the firm to make profits at the cost of its rivals. Such practices potentially stifle innovation, erect entry barriers for small businesses and diminish trust in digital markets in general. The theoretical possibility of a dual role e-commerce platform— that of a marketplace and a retailer simultaneously—engaging in self-preferencing was suspected for a long time. The recent events in India lent evidence to the theoretical possibility of self-preferencing. While in the US, some lawmakers called for initiating criminal proceedings against Amazon for misleading the US Congress about its business practices, the European Union (EU) is debating ex-ante regulation for digital ‘gatekeepers’ that address practices such as self-preferencing and interoperability.
Despite being a prominent digital market, India does not have a regulatory framework to address anti-competitive and unfair practices in digital markets, where competition law is known to have limited efficacy. Against this backdrop, two separate panels in this conference addressed the following issues.
The Center on Law Regulation and Technology (CLRT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich to work on a project related to the benefits of data sharing in developing countries. The other partners in this project are the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru; Université virtuelle du Sénégal (UVS); and, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil. As part of this project, the Centre on Law, Regulation and Technology (CLRT) organized a workshop along with the National Law School of India University on September 8th and 9th entitled, “Data Sharing for Good Health & Well-Being: India’s Way Forward to Achieving Sustainable Development Goal #3’ at J.W. Marriott Hotel, Bengaluru. This was one of its kind event that witnessed participation from the industry, think tanks and academia alike.
To view the agenda of Data Sharing for Good Health and Well-Being, click here.