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Google disputes CCI order at NCLAT, calls it ‘Speculative’

After the Supreme Court declined to provide it any interim relief, global tech giant Google LLC is before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal defending its commercial practices in the Android market in India.

Its counsel Arun Kathpalia has submitted that in its order, the Competition Commission of India has failed to show that Google’s agreements with smartphone manufacturers resulted in anti-competitive effects in India. “The entire order of the commission has been founded on speculation of scenarios that might happen,” he said.

In the first two days of the hearings before the NCLAT, Kathpalia has broadly made three key arguments:

  • That Google’s operating system i.e. Android has contributed hugely to the mobile ecosystem and has led to a thriving competition market.
  • CCI doesn’t have a compelling case.
  • The Mobile Application Distribution Agreement it enters into with Android mobile manufacturers is non-exclusive.

Android Vs Other OS Developers
Google’s operating system i.e. Android, has contributed hugely to the mobile ecosystem and has led to thriving competition, Kathpalia said.

In 2008, when Google was trying to enter the mobile market, three models were at play among market players.

Highlighting their cons, Kathpalia said that Windows used to license its mobile operating system to several original equipment manufacturers but the license was not free and a lot of restrictions were placed on the latter, unlike Google.

Another dominant player, Blackberry, operated on a completely closed system. Only its own applications were functional on the device.

Comparing Google’s Android mobile ecosystem with Symbian, he said that every manufacturer which was using Symbian had their own different version of it. An app developer had to write different versions of its app to make it compatible with different versions of Symbian. Bloomberg

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