afaqs! news bureau

IAMAI runs afoul India’s start-ups and entrepreneurs; accused of being a mouthpiece of big tech

A draft submission and its chair and vice-chair are at the heart of the mess.

Indian entrepreneurs have railed against the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry body for mobile and Internet businesses, accusing it of having become an agent of big technology companies.

The root of the criticism is traced to a draft submission from IAMAI which says India does not need a separate law to tackle anti-competitive practices from technology giants.

Rohan Verma, in a tweet, 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.” He is the CEO and executive director of MapMyIndia.  He also pointed towards the fact “that the Chair & Vice Chair of IAMAI are from the Foreign Big Tech.”

Sanjay Gupta, country head and vice president of Google, chairs the executive council of IAMAI while Shivnath Thukral, public policy director of India at WhatsApp is the vice-chairperson.

“IAMAI is a failing lobby for BigTech propaganda & misinformation …” lamented Anupam Mittal, founder and CEO, People Group, on Twitter.

Brand consultant Ambi Parameswaran also pointed to a 2007 agreement between the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and IAMAI, which was a credit policy and accreditation process for internet ad agencies, saw Google and Meta stay out of it.

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