40 Indian startups unite to support draft of digital competition bill for fair market

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Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Draft Digital Competition Bill 2024 : In a monumental display of unity and forward-thinking, 40 Indian startups have rallied behind the proposed Digital Competition Bill, signaling a resolute stance against anti-competitive practices perpetuated by Big Tech conglomerates. Led by industry stalwarts such as Matrimony.com, TrulyMadly, Innov8, QuackQuack, Magicbricks, Hoichoi, and Medibuddy, this coalition of startups has penned a compelling letter to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, advocating for the swift enactment of the Bill.

Addressing Long-Standing Concerns

The Draft Digital Competition Bill, with its ex-ante regulatory framework, promises to tackle the entrenched issues that have long plagued the Indian startup ecosystem. By curbing anti-competitive behaviors, the Bill aims to foster an environment conducive to innovation, bolster consumer choice, and catalyze the growth of burgeoning enterprises. Startups, weary of facing unfair competition from tech behemoths, view this legislation as a beacon of hope, heralding a new era of equitable competition.

Upholding Innovation and Choice

The startups assert that the Bill’s provisions are a step in the right direction, aligning with their vision of a level playing field in the digital landscape. By advocating for stringent regulations, they seek to dismantle the barriers erected by dominant players, thus ensuring a fair marketplace where merit reigns supreme. Moreover, the startups emphasize the need for an upward revision of thresholds for Systematically Significant Digital Enterprises (SSDEs), underscoring the importance of targeting entities that wield disproportionate influence.

Start-ups supporting the bill

  1. Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder & MD, Matrimony.com
    2. Vinay Singhal, Co-Founder & CEO, STAGE
    3. Snehil Khanor – founder and CEO, TrulyMadly
    4. Satish Kannan, Co-founder CEO, MediBuddy
    5. Anand Virani, Founder and Chairman, Cutting Chai Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
    6. Ajay Data, MD – Data Group of Industries, Chair – FICCI Multilingual and UA committee
    7. Pawan Agarwal, Dy MD, DB CORP ltd
    8. Srinivasan B, Managing Director, Ananda Vikatan Digital Private Limited.
    9. Ravi Mittal, Founder and CEO, QuackQuack (Verve Mobile Pvt Ltd)
    10. Shruti, Founder, Apnaklub
    11. Srinivas Kollipara, Managing Partner, Biome Venture Studio, CEO of T-Hub, Hyderabad
    12. Vishnu Moha, Co-founder, Hoichoi
    13. Sudhir Pai, CEO, MagicBricks
    14. Sriram Subramanya, Managing Director and CEO @ Integra Software Services Private Ltd, Chairman – NASSCOM, National SME Council
    15. Ganesh N Mandalam, Founder and CEO, Xerago
    16. Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8
    17. Arokiaswamy Velumani, Founder, Thyrocare Technologies Ltd

Navigating the Digital Frontier

In a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, the Bill’s significance cannot be overstated. With the proliferation of digital platforms and services, the need to safeguard competition has never been more pressing. The startups contend that by enacting proactive measures, the government can safeguard the interests of both consumers and smaller enterprises, fostering an environment conducive to sustained growth and innovation.

Committee on Digital Competition Law Report

The impetus for the Draft Digital Competition Bill stems from the findings of the Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL). In its comprehensive report, the CDCL highlighted the pernicious effects of anti-competitive practices prevalent in India’s digital markets. From anti-steering tactics to self-preferencing and bundling, the report underscored the urgency of regulatory intervention to restore balance and integrity to the marketplace.

Advocating for Change

The startups’ support for the Bill underscores their commitment to driving substantive change in the digital landscape. By lending their collective voice to the cause, they seek to catalyze legislative action that reflects the evolving needs of the startup ecosystem. Their plea for expediency in implementing the Bill echoes the sentiments of countless entrepreneurs who yearn for a fair and transparent business environment.

In a landscape dominated by tech giants, the solidarity exhibited by Indian startups in supporting the Draft Digital Competition Bill is both commendable and imperative. As they rally behind this seminal legislation, they send a clear message: the time for meaningful reform is now. With their unwavering resolve and collective advocacy, these startups embody the spirit of innovation and resilience that defines India’s entrepreneurial ethos.

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