As more and more of our transactions take place within environments that are digital from end-to-end, the easier it is for us to embed regulations directly into the code that these environments are made of. To do that we will need to build governance modules into our digital public infrastructure.
In order to extract greater efficiency out of existing systems we sometimes need to break the atomic units of those systems down into even smaller pieces so that we can re-imagine how they can be put back together. This is the sort of unbundling that we need to do of the retail stack in order to be able to build a digital retail infrastructure that can empower our small traders. This is the only way we can enable hyperlocal commerce at national scale.
The courts in the US have upheld the App Store model arguing that it demonstrates pro-competitive features that outweigh concerns of monopolistic activity. All it does is prevent operators of these stores from putting in place measures that ensure that all in-app transactions be routed exclusively through the App Store so the fees can be deducted at source.
The proliferation of micro-entrepreneurs in India has been enabled by India’s radically unbundled e-commerce ecosystem. However, given the expansive wording of the new Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, the flourishing of this important ecosystem is threatened as the platforms enabling these entrepreneurs will have to comply with so many obligations as to make their operations commercially infeasible.
Apple built the its iOS mobile ecosystem with strict hardware and software controls. Google built Android to be a more laissez faire system. Google is now exerting greater control over its Play Store to restore trust in the Android ecosystem.