On July 29, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple faced the US antitrust hearings for their anti-competitive practices. Several of these allegations were made in India over the years for multiple times, without any resolutions. Earlier this year, Google and Facebook, invested in Jio Platforms, the telecom and digital subsidiary of the Reliance Industry Limited. This is the first time that both the global tech giants invested in the same entity anywhere in the world. These investments have raised questions regarding the anti-competitive nature of such deals. For government initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, Make in India etc., to be successful, India requires a range of practices that ensures prevention of few firms dominating the whole market and restricting competition in a bid to preserve their dominant role.
Recently, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry reviewed and amended the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy in e-commerce in order to ensure a level playing field between offline and online sectors. E-commerce firms are needed to comply with the new guidelines by February 1, 2019.
This article answers the following questions in an analytical manner with a quick-revision mindmap:
- What is e-commerce?
- What is an E-commerce Entity?
- What are the types of E-commerce models?
- What is the salient feature of the recent amendments?
- What are the potential benefits of these amendments?
- What are the concerns with these amendments?
- What should be the way forward?