With the closing of the invitation for stakeholders’ comments at the draft National e-Commerce Policy, posted by using the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, it is time to take a deep dive and have a look at critical troubles which can be unique to e-commerce.
Of all the one-of-a-kind forms of e-trade models referred to in the MeitY definitions (B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B; B – Business, C – Customer), the C2C model is the only that is of significance for regulatory oversight. The B2C fashions are normally stock-led and are much like retail shops and so on; B2B hasn’t always involved approximately retail customers and as a result, is not of the high challenge for regulators and policymakers; C2B e-trade is often restrained in scope and scale. Hence the point of interest desires to be on e-commerce of goods and services enabled by aggregators/marketplaces/intermediaries in the C2C model.
The coverage offers prominence to privacy, patron safety, information safety and localization, intellectual assets rights, and content material liability of the marketplaces. These were addressed within the diverse extant legal guidelines along with the IT Act 2000 (Amended) and Rules, IT Act draft Intermediary Amendment (Rules) 2018, Competition Act 2002, Consumer Protection Act, National IPR Policy 2016, National Data Sharing Policy 2012, Personal Data Protection Bill 2018, Unsolicited Commercial Communication Regulation 2018, and the OTT consultation paper 2018 posted through TRAI.
Recognizing the inter-departmental nature of e-commerce, the coverage proposes the putting in of a Standing Group of Secretaries on e-commerce (SGoS). Though this is a welcome step, it’s far optimal that the SGoS adopts the above policies as a lot as possible and makes only minor amendments inside the context of e-trade. It is, but, critical to cope with the following issues which can be particular to e-trade.
First, as talked about inside the draft coverage, community effect is an important feature of digital marketplace platforms, mainly in C2C markets. The community impact effects on monopolization of the marketplace. However, the regulators and policymakers have to pass beyond wondering that “monopolies are inherently bad”. The only abuse of monopoly electricity has to be checked and controlled as honestly pointed out within the Competition Act.
The policy mentions that the presence of community impact prevents 2nd-movers from getting into the market. This, though authentic, isn’t always clearly monetary trouble that law ought to try to address unless abuse is noticed. Mergers and acquisitions of structures boom network effect and as a result fee for clients as properly. Vertical or horizontal integration consistent with se isn’t always harmful inside the platform commercial enterprise, except if there may be abuse.
Second, in C2C platforms, users/carriers either participate best in a single chosen platform (referred to as single homing) or in more than one competing platforms (referred to as multi-homing). The systems act as monopolies for the single homing user. Hence the monetization model of the platform wonderful-expenses the unmarried-homing consumer (usually small gamers) to subsidize the multi-homing person, offsetting the competition effect.