‘Data privacy can take form of non-price competition’


Data privacy can take the form of non-price competition and abuse of dominance can lower privacy protection, a study by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has said.

The study also made observations about other non-price factors such as quality of service (QoS), data speeds and bundled offerings, which are likely to be the new drivers of competitive rivalry between service providers in telecom sector in addition to just price.

CCI noted that an aspect of data in the context of competition in digital communications market is the conflict between allowing access and protecting consumer privacy.

“Privacy can take the form of non-price competition,” it said. Abuse of dominance can take the form of lowering the privacy protection and therefore fall within the ambit of antitrust as low privacy standard implies lack of consumer welfare. On other non-price factors of competition, CCI found that consumers ranked network coverage at the top followed by customer service, tariff packaging and lower tariffs as the most important factors for the preference of a particular network.

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