The Policy Wrap: Madhya Pradesh launches startup policy, Match sues Google over ‘monopoly power’ in Android app payments
The Policy Wrap is ADIF’s weekly newsletter on all things policy in the Indus Valley Ecosystem and beyond. Share your feedback and comments with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
European Union’s Digital Markets Act taking on big tech will come into effect in spring 2023
The European Union’s flagship reform for tackling the platform power of the big tech – the Digital Markets Act (DMA) – will come into force in early 2023, Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager has said, altering the earlier suggested timeframe of this fall.
EU lawmakers reached political agreement on the ex-ante regulation back in March, paving the way for the full adoption later this year of a draft law which was only proposed by the Commission at the end of 2020 – underscoring the consensus across the bloc’s institutions on the need to rein in big tech.
The tech giants that will be subject to the DMA have not yet been designated. However, the criteria of “a core platform service” with a “significant” impact on the EU’s internal market, a market capitalisation of at least €75BN (or an annual turnover of €7.5BN), at least 45M monthly end users in the EU and 10,000+ annual business users, as well as an entrenched market position, means the usual GAFAM giants are certainly in the frame.
European Union parliament gives police new powers over personal data
The European Parliament approved a draft that allows the bloc's police agency to collect and use personal data. The European Union said the new regime was needed to help coordinate the fight against terrorism, child sex abuse and other serious crimes.
A European Parliament statement stressed that people would be able "to consult personal data related to them" and oversight would come from a new post of Fundamental Rights Officer and the European Data Protection Supervisor.
However, activists have warned that oversight was too weak and the reforms would turn the police agency into a "data black hole".
European data protection authorities agree to enhance cooperation
Data protection authorities (DPAs) across Europe have agreed to work more closely together to investigate and enforce major issues of data protection law that affect citizens across the continent.
The enhanced cooperation measures announced by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) include working to an action plan, bolstering information sharing practices, and potentially working on joint investigations together under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – a special EDPB task force could be set up to support such investigations too.
Information Technology (IT) Act
Government is planning changes in safe harbour provisions for social media platforms
The government is considering a new legislation that will substantially dilute the safe harbour immunity granted to social media platforms to address accountability concerns, protection of personal data and improve cyber security, a top government official said.
The new legislation would replace the existing Information Technology Act and include aspects of the draft data privacy bill while focusing on accountability of social media platforms as globally countries were moving away from granting safe harbour provisions in their data protection regulations.
Currently, India’s IT Act does not make intermediaries liable for third-party information or data hosted on their platforms. The government did come out with IT intermediary guidelines in 2021 to increase the accountability of social media platforms, but those have been challenged in various courts. “The IT Act is from a different era. We have to create legislation that addresses today’s concerns," the official said. “The IT rules have served their purpose. A new law has to come, which will look at providing a safe internet."
Small businesses keen to sell on e-commerce but mandatory Goods Services Tax (GST) registration major deterrent: Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) survey
A recent survey released by the traders’ body the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has found that while e-commerce is a potential mode of business activity, mandatory GST registration for selling goods online is a major deterrent for small businesses.
72% of respondents believed e-commerce is a significant channel for business but 66% said GST registration is a big hurdle.
Match Group sues Google over ‘monopoly power’ in Android app payments
The Match Group filed a lawsuit against Google accusing the company of deploying “anti-competitive tactics” to maintain a monopoly on the Android mobile ecosystem.
The lawsuit stated:
“Ten years ago, Match Group was Google’s partner. We are now its hostage. Google lured app developers to its platform with assurances that we could offer users a choice over how to pay for the services they want.
But once it monopolized the market for Android app distribution with Google Play by riding the coattails of the most popular app developers, Google sought to ban alternative in-app payment processing services so it could take a cut of nearly every in-app transaction on Android.”
Match’s lawsuit is the latest instance of app developers demanding relief from Google and Apple over the 30% standard cut – now, sometimes 15% – that those tech giants extract from in-app payments.
India, Germany to collaborate on AI-based startups and research
India and Germany have agreed to work together in the domain of artificial intelligence (AI). As part of the collaboration, the two sides will work together to advance AI-based startups and research. The two countries will also jointly work to foster a higher degree of application of AI in sustainability and healthcare.
At the meeting, both ministers agreed for greater cooperation in the field of AI. It was also announced that a proposal will soon be floated to invite suggestions from researchers and industry in this regard.
PM Modi to launch Madhya Pradesh’s startup policy on May 13
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on May 13 virtually launch the Madhya Pradesh government’s Startup Policy and Implementation Plan-2022 aimed at encouraging budding entrepreneurs in the state.
The government has planned a slew of events across the state to drive awareness about the Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy. Under the start-up policy, the government will set up a start-up centre to support entrepreneurs.
Elaborating on the uniqueness of the policy, P. Narhari, Secretary MSME Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh said: "One important feature being added in the MP Startup Policy 2022 is the concept of 'MP Startup Centre'. Earlier, only one policy was being implemented by the department, but now this will be implemented in tandem with the MP Startup Centre. The startup centre will have a dedicated office, a head/mentor for every startup and experts from the relevant field, who will help the startup community."