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Big Tech Majors Not To Have It Easy In India

The free run that tech majors like Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, Amazon enjoyed in India will be a thing of the past. Already, they have come under pressure to take down content considered unlawful, inappropriate and disturbing public order. And if Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for IT and Electronics has his way, all of them will be paying Indian newspapers and digital news publishers a share of revenue for using original content. The move is being mooted through regulatory interventions, which is expected to happen as part of the revisions being made in the existing IT Laws. “The Indian news publishers have no negotiating leverage at all, and this needs to be tackled legislatively,” said Chandrasekhar in an interview. The market power on digital advertising that is currently being exercised by the Big Tech majors, has already put Indian media companies at a disadvantage. Several countries like Australia, France and Spain have passed rules that require Tech majors to compensate content producers for using their content and search results. It comes as no surprise that spear-heading the Indian initiative is Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a media honcho himself. Chandrasekhar owns two satellite channels, Asianet News and Suravana News and a clutch of digital news websites in South Indian languages.  Incidentally, he was one of the founder-promoters of Republic TV, but sold his stake subsequently.