Working Papers

Regulating Algorithms in India: Key Findings and Recommendations

Centre for Policy Research

July 1, 2021

Algorithms have an overpowering influence on our lives in this era of rapid digital transformations. Technology companies are deploying algorithms in many ways, for example, to demonstrate rankings and search results for purposes of data collection, personalise user experience and show dynamic pricing. But these systems are susceptible to creating many kinds of consumer harms that create anti-competitive effects and hurt consumer interests. This paper attempts to understand the nature of India’s digital economy, consolidates scholarly examinations on algorithmic harms, and examines the suitability of India’s competition landscape to regulate its digital economy. The paper also studies India’s competition regulatory design and capacity and evaluates the preparedness of the Competition Commission of India to investigate algorithms. Finally, the paper proposes recommendations for India to develop a comprehensive antitrust strategy to address algorithmic harms and the position best suited to deal with rapid technological advancements in the digital era.

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