In a surprise move, Flipkart has walked away from Airtel's controversial Airtel Zero initiative. The e-commerce giant had been receiving flak from its users for being associated with the initiative which many believe is against the concept of net neutrality. Many users also went on to down rate the app on the Play store.
Here's Flipkart statement on the issue:
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
Interestingly, the U-turn comes shortly after Flipkart had said the move was not against net neutrality. However, it appears that bad press along with backlash from users compelled the e-commerce company the decision.
Here are some recent developments on the issue: