The Competition Commission of India (CCI) may approach the next Government at the Centre to seek its approval for undertaking capacity building at its Digital Markets and Data Unit (DMDU), which was established last year. This is likely to be done along with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) proposal on the Digital Competition Bill that is expected to be sent soon to the Union Cabinet, sources said. 

With the May 15 deadline now over for submission of stakeholder feedback on the report on Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL) and the draft Bill, the MCA is expected to finalise the proposal to be forwarded to the Cabinet next month, they added.

CCI is keen to bolster its Human Resources not only in the DMDU, but also for the other activities of the Competition watchdog and Government approval is a must to create more posts in the Commission whether it be in DMDU or outside the unit, sources said.

Infact, the CDCL had in its report strongly recommended enhancing the capacity of the CCI, especially its newly constituted DMDU, by integrating technology sector experts to navigate the swiftly evolving digital landscape effectively. However, the report has not outlined specific measures for the Commission to bolster its capacity.

CCI Chairperson Ravneet Kaur on Monday said at the 15th annual day event of CCI that the competition watchdog’s goal is to ensure that competition law enforcement evolves in tandem with the innovations in the digital economy, which are redefining the marketplace dynamics.

India is currently the fastest growing digital economy in the world. The size of India’s digital economy is expected to touch $1 trillion by 2027-28.

In recent years, as digital markets have expanded exponentially, competition regulatory bodies around the world have found it increasingly necessary to keep pace with the rapid innovations and evolving business practices in the technology sector. 

Recognizing the unique challenges and potential market distortions that can arise in digital platforms, the CCI had last year established a specialized unit known as the Digital Markets and Data Unit (DMDU).

Meanwhile, The Dialogue, a public policy think tank, has in its written comments on the report of CDCL and the draft Digital Competition Bill 2024 submitted that capacity building of the CCI and the DMDU should be undertaken before the Bill is tabled in Parliament. 

Further, in the interest of transparency, there should be more information provided in the public domain regarding the DMDU’s initiatives and functions, it added. This can ensure certainty among stakeholders about the unit’s capacity to analyse digital markets, this policy think added.