The Centre may soon come up with light-touch regulations for big tech firms to balance innovation and fair competition. Google and Apple will not be forced to open their operating system to all domestic players, a report in Financial Express (FE) said. Domestic players will be free to install or uninstall the apps of their choice.
This comes against the backdrop of signs that tech firms may slow down investment in India after the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI’s) penalty on Google.
“Google and Apple have made innovation and investments in their platforms, so it’s not fair to ask them to onboard all apps by domestic players, but by asking them to provide valid reasons for saying yes to some and no to others, there would be a perfect balance between promoting innovation and ensuring there’s fairplay in business practices. Why can’t they give choice to consumers (to decide which app they want to use). They have to change. They cannot take the citizens of India for granted, they have to offer wherever there is choice and have to be very clear when they are declining to onboard people onto their ecosystem,” sources told FE.
CCI, while imposing the penalty of Rs 2,274 crore on Google, asked the company to allow sideloading without issuing warnings to the users. Sideloading stands for installing the apps having open source versions without using the app’s official distribution channel like the app store.
Currently, Google tries to prevent sideloading by issuing multiple warnings and making it a multi-step process. CCI is reportedly also checking if Apple takes such steps too.