India’s digital economy is expected to grow at a quick pace due to the country’s widespread smartphone use, reasonably priced data, and the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. The Indian government has introduced the Draft Digital Competition Bill in response to concerns about fair competition as international IT giants invest in India’s digital future. The purpose of this legislation is to promote fair competition for startups and MSMEs while controlling the dominance of Big Tech.

Regulatory Landscape

Since 2009, India’s competition laws, which are governed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), have changed. Amendments were made in 2023 to address concerns including deep discounting, preferred pricing, and data monopolies in recognition of the swift pace of the digital change. Based on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee, the Digital Competition Bill aims to prevent anti-competitive behaviours before they cause harm to the market through proactive measures known as ex-ante provisions.

Key Provisions of the Draft Bill

Certain businesses providing Core Digital Services (CDS) may be designated as Systematically Significant Digital Enterprises (SSDEs) under the proposed Draft Digital Competition Bill. Financial benchmarks and the size of the user base are among the requirements; organisations that reach one crore end customers in India are eligible for SSDE accreditation. By incorporating the majority of tech unicorns and expanding businesses, this threshold seeks to provide thorough market oversight.

Challenges for Indian Startups

The bill intends to encourage fair competition, but because of its existing thresholds, it might unintentionally tax domestic startups. Requirements for compliance may discourage investors and impede innovation, which might slow the 115,000 companies in India from growing. Due to increased regulatory scrutiny, these startups—which are vital to India’s digital economy and job creation—may find it difficult to compete with international behemoths.

Balancing Innovation and Regulation

Stakeholders urge for customised rules that take into account the particular difficulties experienced by Indian digital companies in order to lessen negative effects on entrepreneurs. In order to improve the law and make sure that innovation and investment are protected while maintaining competitiveness, it is imperative that the startup ecosystem be involved. Keeping an eye on market trends and preserving fair competition will be crucial to developing a thriving, inclusive digital economy in India.


Laws such as the Digital Competition Bill are crucial in influencing market dynamics as India moves closer to becoming a trillion-dollar digital economy. The measure intends to support India’s startup ecosystem by resolving concerns about monopolistic behaviour and guaranteeing fair competition. In order to create an environment where entrepreneurs may prosper in the face of global competition, effective implementation and constant communication with stakeholders will be essential.

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Saiba Verma, an accomplished editor with a focus on finance and market trends, contributes to Atom News with a dedication to providing insightful and accurate business news. Saiba Verma analytical approach adds depth to our coverage, keeping our audience well-informed.