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Facing Unfair Competition From Big Tech, Indian Firms Said to Inform Parliamentary Panel




By Press Trust of India | Updated: 22 July 2022

Top executives of eight domestic tech firms, including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal, deposed before a parliamentary panel on Thursday and said they face unfair competition from big tech firms. During the meeting with top executives of eight technology firms, including Zomato, Swiggy, Flipkart, and MakeMyTrip, were also questioned about what steps they were taking to address the concerns of vendors on their platforms, sources said. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by BJP leader and former Union Minister Jayant Sinha, has been looking into various aspects of competition in the marketplace, especially concerning technology majors. Earlier, Sinha told PTI that the panel has decided to ask representatives of various technology platforms, e-commerce players and gaming entities to appear before it soon, and they will be mainly asked about their market behaviour.

Representatives of food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato, e-commerce player Flipkart, cab aggregator Ola, hotel aggregator OYO, digital finance firm Paytm, MakeMyTrip and All India Gaming Association are those who have been called by the panel, Sinha said.

According to a notice available on the Lok Sabha website, the committee will hear “views of representatives of associations/ industry stakeholders on the subject Anti-Competitive Practices by Big-tech companies” on July 21.

Sources said that Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Ola CFO Arun Kumar, Make My Trip Chairman and Chief Mentor Deep Kalra, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal, OYO founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal attended the meeting.

Senior officials of Swiggy, Flipkart and All India Gaming Federation also attended the meeting, they said. In recent times, there have been complaints about alleged anti-competitive ways of various technology platforms and firms.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is already probing various cases, especially in the digital space, following complaints of alleged unfair business practices.

On April 28, the CCI made a presentation about competition aspects in the marketplace to the parliamentary panel.

After that meeting, Sinha said the panel had “an excellent set of discussions” with officials from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and CCI.