The Competition Commission of India (CCI) opened an investigation into Google focusing on multiple allegations of abuse of dominant position in India. After a six-year-long investigation, CCI concluded that Google had not abused its dominant position in the majority of the fronts investigated by the Commission (OneBoxes, AdWords, online intermediation and distribution agreements); and only fined the search company for supposed anticompetitive practices related to Flight Search and two other long-discontinued search practices.
When analyzing CCI’s decision, some commentators risk falling into the trap of claiming the Indian decision diverges from that of the US FTC. Even worse, these observers might use CCI’s decision to validate the recurring claim that US antitrust authorities grant tech companies a free antitrust pass. Such a view would fail to account for the fact that CCI’s order actually converges with the US approach. In fact, CCI’s decision is evidence-based, informed by economic analysis and decided under the consumer welfare standard.
Furthermore, such analysis would fail to capture the most relevant aspects of the Indian order, namely: (i) the pro-consumer/pro-innovation argumentation included in the decision; and (ii) the consolidation of a pro-consumer welfare enforcement pattern at an international level. MORE »