What to know ?
Prelims & Mains: Reamble to the constitution act, E-commerce , CCI India
Competition Commission of India (CCI) main objectives are
- Make the markets work for the benefit and welfare of consumers.
- Ensure fair and healthy competition in economic activities in the country for faster and inclusive growth and development of the economy.
- Implement competition policies with an aim to effectuate the most efficient utilization of economic resources.
- Develop and nurture effective relations and interactions with sectoral regulators to ensure smooth alignment of sectoral regulatory laws in tandem with the competition law.
- Effectively carry out competition advocacy and spread the information on benefits of competition among all stakeholders to establish and nurture competition culture in Indian economy.
The CCI under its advocacy mandate urges the e-commerce platforms to put in place the following transparency measures.
- Set out in the platforms’ terms and conditions a general description of the main search ranking parameters, drafted in plain and intelligible language and keep that description up to date.
- Where the main parameters include the possibility to influence ranking against any direct or indirect remuneration paid by business users, set out a description of those possibilities and of the effects of such remuneration on ranking.
- Introduction of the above-mentioned features, however, should not entail, disclosure of algorithms or any such information that may enable or facilitate manipulation of search results by third parties.
Collection, use and sharing of data
- Set out a clear and transparent policy on data that is collected on the platform, the use of such data by the platform and also the potential and actual sharing of such data with third parties or related entities.
User review and rating mechanism
- Adequate transparency over user review and rating mechanisms is necessary for ensuring information symmetry, which is a prerequisite for fair competition. Adequate transparency to be maintained in publishing and sharing user reviews and ratings with the business users. Reviews for only verified purchases to be published and mechanisms to be devised to prevent fraudulent reviews/ratings.
Revision in contract terms
- Notify the business users concerned of any proposed changes in terms and conditions. The proposed changes not to be implemented before the expiry of a notice period, which is reasonable and proportionate to the nature and extent of the envisaged changes and to their consequences for the business user concerned.
- Bring out clear and transparent policies on discounts, including inter alia the basis of discount rates funded by platforms for different products/suppliers and the implications of participation/non-participation in discount schemes.
Source: PIB Summaries