Google news: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday accused technology giant Google of dominating and abusing the digital data market. The commission also called for free, fair and open competition. Completing the arguments on behalf of the Competition Commission before the appellate tribunal NCLAT, Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman said that the system of open rebate for all units is in line with the principle of free competition. Will be The ‘walled garden’ approach of a technology company is not correct.
It is noteworthy that the Competition Commission had imposed a fine of Rs 1,337.76 crore on Google on October 20 last year for indulging in anti-competitive activities with reference to Android mobile devices. Also, the regulator had asked the company to desist from various unfair trade practices. This order was challenged in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
Venkataraman said on Thursday that Google had used its profit-making search engine as a ‘fort’ and other apps as a defensive ‘moat’. This ‘Fortress’ and ‘Ditch’ strategy is nothing but data hegemony. This means that a large company becomes bigger and bigger in the market while smaller and newer units struggle to stay in the market. He said that the implementation of the measures of the Competition Commission would go a long way in making the market more open for all the entities. This is in line with the principles of free competition.
Venkataraman said that what is essentially a system of pre-installs, such as bundling one app with another, shows the wrong use of Google’s dominance. The appellate tribunal had started hearing the Android case on February 15 following a Supreme Court directive. The apex court has asked the NCLAT to take a decision in the matter by March 31.
A separate bench of the appellate tribunal had on January 4 issued notice on Google’s plea and directed it to deposit 10 per cent of the penalty (Rs 1,337 crore) imposed by the Competition Commission. It refused to stay the commission’s order and fixed April 3, 2023, for final hearing of the matter. Google challenged this in the Supreme Court. The apex court also refused to stay the order of the Competition Commission. However, the Appellate Tribunal was asked to decide on Google’s appeal by March 31.