The Apple of Discord: India's Next Antitrust Arena

The global tech economy – with the biggest players such as Apple now facing heightened antitrust scrutiny – appears to be turning upside down. The latest target? India, which has adopted a new law modelled on the European Union’s proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA), with the potential to change the nature of Apple’s market dominance strategy.

The Indian Scenario: A New Challenger Appears

Its ‘Digital Markets Bill’, in line with Europe’s similarly recent Digital Markets Act, seeks to enact competition legislation in India. As the narrative takes its next turn, Apple is poised to face more antitrust confrontations in India as well.

Understanding the Digital Competition Bill

At the centre of legislative activity in India is a Digital Competition Bill, intended to harness some of the spirit of the DMA in establishing a more broadly beneficial digital marketplace. It tackles the monopolistic nature of market access of tech giants, particularly by limiting their control over user data and removing any so-called ‘first-party advantage’ that large platforms might have over smaller players. For example, it one of the provisions would undo the lock-in of third-party apps on Apple’s app ecosystem, a monopoly that the bill-makers are determined to end.

APPLE's Himalayan Hurdle: Third-Party App Stores Requirement

The App Store has also been a point of contention for Apple, and was the main reason it came under fire as ‘anticompetitive’ measures under the DMA in Europe. Now the company is facing an identical battle in India, with the new law stipulating the need for an open ecosystem for app sales; this could fundamentally change the existing business model that has so far worked in Apple’s favour. Apple’s deliberate business strategy of an integrated, walled garden has made it one of the most successful companies in recent times.

The Global Domino Effect

It’s not just in India or Europe: in Japan, legislators have also proposed similar adaptations. International momentum towards a more competitive digital marketplace is growing. Apple is just one of the tech juggars being challenged by antitrust action in this brave new world. The firm is still fighting a civil antitrust suit with the US Department of Justice.

The Road Ahead for APPLE

As India inches towards this Digital Competition Bill, and as Apple fights to persuade state officials to scrap it (along with other tech behemoths), the proposed law’s ability to make or break things for the company shows precisely how urgent this task is becoming for Apple in the country – perhaps higher than anywhere else. With penalties of up to 10 per cent of its global turnover looming, India could soon become a real thorn in the American firm’s side.

Conclusion: A Pivotal Moment for APPLE and Digital Markets

The new regulations in India are an important step, not only for Apple but for the tech industry as a whole, because countries around the world are beginning to push back, trying to create a more competitive and fair operating environment. Apple has started to feel the waves of global antitrust reform, but there is a lot of change ahead.


Since the early era of the Apple II, Apple Inc has been a deity of innovation and quality in the tech pantheon. Bestowed on the company by its iconic products, from the iPhone to the iPad to its Mac computers, the moniker has become synonymous with cool, with the popularity of digital goods. But with Apple now in antitrust crosshairs around the globe, an outcome in its battle in India could ultimately dictate what the digital marketplace looks like for all of us.

May 30, 2024
<< Go Back