Research

Competition Policy

PERSONAL DATA AND CONSUMER WELFARE IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Smriti Parsheera and Sarang Moharir

SSRN, 5 February, 2020

Safeguarding user rights and maximising consumer welfare in the digital economy, particularly in the context of personal data, requires an integrated approach that cuts across the fields of competition, consumer protection, and data protection. Current and proposed regulatory frameworks in India, however, continue with a silo-based approach offering limited scope for cross-sectional analysis of consumer welfare issues in digital markets. We argue for the need to create appropriate legal and institutional mechanisms to facilitate interactions across the fields of competition, consumer protection, and data protection policies as well as sectoral policies.

Paper

CHALLENGES OF COMPETITION AND REGULATION IN THE TELECOM SECTOR

Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. LIII, No. 38, 22 September, 2018

The telecommunications sector has come a long way from its perceived status as a natural monopoly to a competitive multiplayer industry. As competitive forces, both from within the telecom industry and the surrounding digital ecosystem, continue to redefine the sector’s dynamics, it creates new challenges for regulation and competition enforcement. This paper calls for fresh thinking on the respective roles of the sectoral regulator, the competition authority and the need for greater synergies between them. A model for voluntary cooperation between the authorities is suggested.

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CCI'S ORDER AGAINST GOOGLE: INFANT STEPS OR A COMING-OF-AGE MOMENT?

The LEAP Blog, 22 February, 2018.

This piece analyses the CCI's decision in the abuse of dominance case against Google, summarising the takeaways from this decision and highlighting some key concerns. The criticisms include CCI's reliance on qualitative and descriptive accounts to establish Google's violations instead of evidence-based analysis of click-through-rates, ranking measurements, etc and lack of any broader guidance on demarcating general product design elements from particularly egregious conduct that merits competition intervention.

BUILDING BLOCKS OF JIO'S PREDATORY PRICING ANALYSIS

The LEAP Blog, 27 April, 2017

Reliance Jio's entry into the telecom market has led to concerns of predatory pricing by other operations that were considered both by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Competition Commission of India. This piece assesses the factors that should inform the CCI's analysis in the complaint that was filed before it by Airtel against Jio's pricing practices. It analyses the features of the market and its voice, data and content components as well as the trend towards integration of data and content services . Based on this analysis it recommends a multi-stage, data-driven approach rooted in an understanding of competition policy and telecom economics.