Outlining Big Issues for the CCI

About the authors: The authors are both practising advocates in Delhi. Krishnesh Bapat is assisting Sr. Advocate and Ex-ASG Maninder Acharya. The authors graduated from O.P. Jindal Global University in the years 2019 and 2020 respectively.

On 5th October 2020, the Subcommittee on Antitrust Law of the US House Judiciary Committee (‘the Committee’) released a comprehensive majority report (‘the report’) on the dominance of Big Tech (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft). The Committee observed that the dominance of Big Tech has degraded privacy, eroded entrepreneurship, and undermined free press. The Committee urged Congress to reform anti-trust laws, bar dominant platforms from competing in ‘adjacent lines of business’, encourage interoperability and push for data portability. Following the report in October, the US Justice Department sued Google, accusing them of illegally protecting their monopoly over the online search market. In December, the US Federal Trade Commission and over 40 states sued Facebook, alleging Facebook eliminated competition by acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp.

These incidences are a watershed moment in the regulation of Big Tech. In the past, regulators have considered turned a blind eye to the dominance of Big Tech. They felt Big