Existing competition tools inadequate to address issues related to monopoly of data, feel experts

The Times of India, December 06, 2018

The existing competition tools are inadequate to address issues related to ownership and monopoly of data, according to experts.

“Data is the modern oil of economy, monopolisation of data leads to the concentration of power and our present competition tools are inadequate to address the issues related to ownership and monopoly over data,” former Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairperson Dhanendra Kumar said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a panel discussion here, he also said that “disruptive innovation” is often driven by big data, artificial intelligence led algorithms.

Former CCI member Geeta Gouri said there is a lack of clarity in the concept of competition.

“From the regulators’ point of view the two major problems in case of big data are cartelisation and patents,” she said, adding that a nuanced and positive patent policy in India needs to evolve to keep pace with the ever changing digital economy.

She also noted that the regulator needs to follow a more nuanced approach with respect to competition issues related to big data. The panel discussion was organised by non-profit group Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS).

The CCI keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors and has also dealt with various cases related to technological matters.

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