As LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow, Payal Malik has made significant contributions to Indian telecom policy and regulation over the years. She also brings to bear a unique perspective because of her experience in implementing competition law. Going beyond the emotive, she has co-authored a thoughtful op-ed that all who engage in the net neutrality debate in India should pay attention to.
India’s antitrust regime empowers the Competition Commission of India to block business activities that harm consumer welfare, restrict consumer choice or deny market access. Such enforcement with a precise enforcement mandate, exclusively targeting objectionable activities, while leaving other pro-competitive conduct that benefits consumers unregulated.
Antitrust analysis with its light touch approach provides a better pedagogic tool to analyse whether particular instances of prohibitions on the ability of network operators to control their vertical relationships would be socially beneficial, rather than a one-size-fits-all regulation, which is much more prone to stifling innovation and deforming the marketplace.