Last week, post the launch of Airtel Zero, there were reports on Flipkart allegedly joining the new platform. This caused a huge uproar among those in favor of net neutrality, and what comes as a victory of sorts, the e-commerce company has today revealed that it is walking away from discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero. Also Read - Infinix Smart 5A launched in India with a competitive introductory price: Details hereAlso Read - Massive discount on Samsung Galaxy F12: Budget Samsung phone now under Rs 10,000
A Flipkart spokesperson issued a statement, Also Read - Flipkart Big Saving Days sale from Aug 6 to Aug 10: Details here
We at Flipkart have always strongly believed in the concept of net neutrality, for we exist because of the Internet. Over the past few days, there has been a great amount of debate, both internally and externally, on the topic of zero rating, and we have a deeper understanding of the implications. Based on this, we have decided on the following:
- We will be walking away from the ongoing discussions with Airtel for their platform Airtel Zero
- We will be committing ourselves to the larger cause of Net Neutrality in India. We will be internally discussing over the next few days, the details of actions we will take to support the cause
- We will be working towards ensuring that the spirit of net neutrality is upheld and applied equally to all companies in India irrespective of the size or the service being offered and there is absolutely no discrimination whatsoever
Just a few days ago, CEO Sachin Bansal took to Twitter to give his take on Airtel Zero. While he said that he supports net neutrality, he didn’t think Airtel Zero was violating its principles. The e-commerce site’s mobile app bore the brunt of net neutrality protesters, as they deliberately downgraded the app reviews. Now, it looks that the company’s executives have had a change of heart and have decided to backtrack and be with the united voice of the majority.
To put things into perspective, net neutrality is built on the idea that all sites should be equally accessible, at the same speed, and if there is a cost of access, it should be the same for all. As lucrative Airtel Zero sounds, we still think that it goes against the principles of net neutrality.
The idea that some services will be free, while some who cannot afford to pay Airtel a fee will be at a disadvantage (especially small companies and startups) does not bring healthy competitiveness to play. With this platform, the company is unfairly favoring apps or services that can pay to be on Airtel s platform, and we are glad that Flipkart has decided to finally get on board with the ongoing online protest for net neutrality.