The government is concerned about the asymmetry in revenue distribution between news publishers and digital companies, the official said.
Expressing concern over the monopolistic dominance of ad-tech companies like Google and Facebook*, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Wednesday said the revenue-sharing model between digital news publishers and Big Tech is tilted towards the latter and has emerged as a key concern for the government.
Stating that India’s transformation in the digital and tech space has been “spectacular," Chandrasekhar said the country is no longer seen as a place to set up cost-effective back offices but as a valuable partner for shaping the future.
“We are concerned about the deep asymmetry between those who create content and those who help them to monetise it. From a policymaking point of view, we want the internet to be open, and we certainly do not want monetisation on the internet to be in the purview of or to be controlled by just one, two, or three companies,"
the minister said, adding that the pre-consultation draft of the Digital India Act lays the foundation for solving these “visible asymmetries" between the digital news publishers in the country and the big platforms.
Chandrasekhar stressed ensuring fair revenue sharing by the big tech companies with content creators in terms of monetisation.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, who was also present at the event, said the government is looking to bring in policies to address digital advertising issues and ensure no revenue loss happens. The I&B minister also raised concerns about fake news, paid news, and clickbait news, adding that the same are adversely impacting the credibility of the news media.
S. Krishnan, Secretary of MeiTY, discussed the emergence of AI and the need for updated laws to address new challenges. He pointed out the need for categorisation of internet intermediaries and having different regulatory regimes for them.
The DNPA or Digital News Publishers Association of India is a prominent industry group representing the digital branches of India's top 18 publishers from both print and electronic media.
*banned and designated as extremist in Russia