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Indian start-ups call IAMAI the ‘mouthpiece of Big Tech’

Indian start-ups have said that the Indian industry association for internet businesses, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), is “parroting the views of Big tech companies”. In a tweet, Rohan Verma, CEO and Executive Director of MapMyIndia, said: “It’s distressing to know that IAMAI (Internet And Mobile Association of India) – @IAMAIForum – is parroting & promoting views that are Anti-Indian and Pro-Foreign Big Tech.” 

These observations come after IAMAI’s draft submissions arguing against the need for a separate Digital Competition Law caused furore in the Indian start-up ecosystem. This draft document will be submitted to the Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL), a body that was formed to look into the need for a separate law for competition in digital markets. Indian start-ups note that in order protect the interests of the big tech, the industry body is against a separate competition law. 

The start-ups also allege that IAMAI did not do anything on the Google billing issue, where the Indian start-up ecosystem was against the 30 per cent levy in the in-app billing system. 

Verma pointed out that both the Chair and Vice Chair of IAMAI were employed by Big Tech. IAMAI’s Chairperson is Sanjay Gupta, the Country Head and Vice-President at Google; IAMAI’s Vice-Chairperson is Shivnath Thukral, Public Policy Director at Whatsapp (Meta). 

“I hope everyone realises that the Chair & Vice Chair of IAMAI are from the Foreign Big Tech. Sad to see an org originally founded by and for Indian companies, taken over & now promoting a false narrative. IAMAI views & submissions to govt & media on digital policies, regulations, laws etc are completely wrong and antithetical to what Indians – consumers, industry, government – need,” said Verma. 

Shaadi.com founder, Anupam Mittal concurred that IAMAI has become “the mouthpiece of Big Tech”.

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