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IAMAI Forms Task Force to Address Big Tech Dominance Concerns

The IAMAI has launched a new task force led by Bharat Matrimony’s Murugavel Janakiraman to address the abuse of market dominance by big tech companies, focusing initially on GPBS and IP issues.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has established a new task force dedicated to addressing the challenges and abuses of market dominance by major technology companies. Led by Murugavel Janakiraman, founder of Bharat Matrimony, the task force aims to scrutinize issues such as the Google Play Billing System (GPBS) and intellectual property (IP) matters, before expanding its focus to broader concerns related to the dominance of big tech firms in India.

This initiative is distinct from a 40-member task force created in September of the previous year, which concentrated on examining specific policies of Google, including the GPBS. This earlier group, which included key figures from the startup community and had representation from Google, was also under the guidance of the IAMAI.

Janakiraman highlighted the task force's plans to develop a white paper analyzing the impact of Big Tech policies on the Indian startup ecosystem. The task force intends to engage with government officials and policymakers to advocate for improved policies that will benefit startups.

The move comes in the wake of growing discontent among developers over Google's commission fees, which many argue make operations unsustainable for startups. Although Google has made several reductions from the initial 30% fee, the company asserts the necessity of charging these fees to maintain its operations.

This latest task force reflects a shift in IAMAI's approach, influenced by Indian founders taking over big tech representatives in the governing council last year. The formation follows a plea from Indian startups to Google, requesting the tech giant not to delist their apps or take any immediate actions against app developers pending a special leave petition hearing in the Supreme Court, slated for March 19.

Approximately 30 companies appealed to Google after the Supreme Court, on February 16, declined to prevent Google from delisting apps that do not comply with its billing policy, effectively allowing Google the freedom to remove non-compliant apps.

Additionally, IAMAI has voiced support for Indian startups in the net neutrality debate, opposing the telecom sector's push for a revenue-sharing model between startups and telecom companies. Such models, IAMAI argues, could increase costs for startups, ultimately burdening customers with higher internet usage costs.