Connect with us

Company News

Google’s policies would kill startups, CCI to NCLAT

Google’s policies in the Android operating system market have not only limited and restricted technical and scientific development by domestic startups but have completely ring-fenced such development, the Competition Commission of India argued before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday.

Appearing for the CCI, additional solicitor general N Venkatraman argued that under its agreements, Google alone can dictate the size of the phone, nature of the device, the app and content on it. “So Google-dictated technology will alone be in this world. Is it not restricting scientific development?” he said, adding that the bottomline is that nobody can innovate beyond Google.

Section 4 of the Competition Act specifies five actions or tests for abuse of dominant position by enterprises or group of enterprises. These include provisions, including directly or indirectly imposing unfair or discriminatory conditions in purchase or sale of goods or service, directly or indirectly imposing unfair or discriminatory price as well as limiting or restricting technical or scientific development relating to goods or services to the prejudice of consumers.

Noting that India is becoming a startup hub and the ‘Make in India’ policy is also being promoted, Venkatraman said Google’s policies would kill startups and ‘Make in India’. “Why should startups be dedicated to one if they want to innovate,” he contended.

Counsel for Google Arun Kathpalia contended that the tech giant has no intention of denying or indulging in any practice that denies market access.

Venkatraman is expected to wrap up submissions on behalf of the competition regulator on Thursday. The bench comprising NCLAT chairperson Ashok Bhushan and member (technical) Alok Srivastava is also expected to hear interventions by other parties, including MapmyIndia, EPIC Games, OS Labs and Alliance of Digital India Foundation who are supporting the CCI’s views.

Google is likely to present its rejoinder before the bench on March 17. Based on the Supreme Court ruling, the NCLAT has to decide on Google’s appeal against the CCI’s order by March 31.

The CCI, in its order dated October 20, 2022, had imposed a Rs 1,337 crore monetary penalty on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem and had issued a cease-and-desist order against Google from indulging in anti-competitive practices. Following the CCI order, Google had filed a plea with NCLAT, which had declined to give an interim stay. The tech giant then approached the Supreme Court, which had also declined to stay the CCI order but had directed the NCLAT to decide on Google’s appeal by March 31. Financial Express

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2024 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!