Flipkart walks away from Airtel Zero after net neutrality uproar
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.”
A Flipkart spokesperson issued a statement,
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:
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. 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 favouring 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.