New Delhi, May 11, 2018

The government must revisit the need for uniform threshold framework for the merger review control regime in the country, Devender Kumar Sikri, Chairman, Competition Commission of India (CCI), has said.

This is a must to achieve the intended goals across sectors, including the digital space, Sikri said at an Assocham event on ‘Data Protection, Privacy and Security’ in the Capital on Friday.

“We must have a sector-wise threshold and I think the time has come for this and the digital sector must be abreast of this,” he said.

On mergers between companies holding big data which may result in profiling of individuals thereby invading their privacy in the digital space, Sikri said, “Since data is not accounted as an asset, the traditional asset turnover criteria which we apply in competition law may fail to capture potentially those transactions from the competition review, that is our worry.”

He also said the targets in these sectors (digital companies) have a limited actual turnover or physical assets and thus the asset turnover based threshold which has been enforced today in the country might have a blind spot in the digital sector.

Sikri highlighted the need to strike a balance to embrace the social benefits of big data while avoiding harms to the individual. “Transparency, accountability and informed consent are going to be the keywords,” he said.

[The Hindu Business Line]