Net neutrality’s first triumph in India, Flipkart pulls out of Airtel Zero


Online retail giant Flipkart has pulled out of Airtel Zero.

The company, which has faced the brunt of social media angst in the last few days with its ambiguous stand on Net neutrality, threw in the towel today.

The company sent out a tweet this morning, affirming its belief that the Internet should be free of fetters and announcing a parting of ways with Airtel Zero.

The company also 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. After reviewing the implications of zero rating deeply, we reached the conclusion that it doesn’t meet our standards of net neutrality and violates the principles that we stand for.

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”

This is undoubtedly a u-turn from Flipkart, and a major victory in the fight against the attempt to erode Net neutrality. This was what the CEO said 5 days ago on their proposed integration with Zero.

Users had responded to the Flipkart stand by down-rating the Flipkart app and launching a social media campaign against the company’s stand.  Flipkart has clearly seen the light.

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