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Regulation of Digital Markets in the Context of Big Data, AI, and IoT

The world is increasingly witnessing a shift to online marketplaces and online platforms. This can be attributed to the exponential rise in the use of information technology, smartphones, and the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven technologies. However, this shift also poses many unprecedented challenges for antitrust/ competition law. While framing policies with regard to regulation of digital markets, even some of the basic concepts like dominance, abuse of dominance, and collusion between undertakings, may have to be revisited. For instance, one may have to ask whether a different set of competition law doctrines be applied to two-sided platforms like Amazon or Facebook when determining dominance? Similarly, it might also be important to ask whether the requirement of proving ‘agreement’ be relaxed when imputing liability in cases of algorithmic price-fixing? Such questions, which directly concern the regulation of digital markets,  are of great significance as both over-regulated and underregulated digital markets have important implications for consumer choice and innovation.

To ensure the appropriate level of regulation of digital markets by the state and for ensuring fair competition in the market, one may have to take an evidence-based approach. Unfortunately, many of the current policy discussions and regulatory interventions are ignoring this important aspect. It is in this context that the Centre for Innovation, IP and Competition has initiated this project, which will primarily look at the following issues –

  1. Ownership of data in the digital economy
  2. Data localisation and its impact on competition
  3. Competition issues in the e-commerce sector
  4. Competition issues in the app store market

These discussions assume special significance in the light of the differing policy approaches seen in different jurisdictions with regard to data ownership and sharing.

Principal Investigator: Dr Arul George Scaria

Research Fellow: Ms Saraswathy Vaidyanathan

If you have any specific queries or suggestions regarding this project, please drop an email to arul.scaria(at)