CCI’s WhatsApp probe order a pink flag for Big Tech – ET Telecom

New Delhi: Big expertise corporations must tread rigorously in the case of knowledge sharing and privateness coverage, as the choice of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to probe WhatsApp may open the floodgates for extra such circumstances, stated specialists.

The competitors regulator’s resolution is important additionally because it alerts the CCI’s recognition of privateness as a contest concern, they stated.

The CCI investigation may convey to mild new points that lie on the intersection of privateness and competitors, which may result in extra such circumstances, stated Anisha Chand, companion at regulation agency Khaitan & Co.

On Wednesday, the CCI ordered a probe into WhatsApp’s conduct over its January privateness coverage replace, observing that the choice to share consumer knowledge throughout Facebook corporations seemed to be a case of abuse of dominance.

“The order sets an important precedent in terms of what manner of conduct in digital markets may be assessed by the CCI for possible anti-competitive effects,” stated Kanika Chaudhary Nayar, companion at Luthra & Luthra.

This can have giant implications for giant tech corporations, in accordance with Vaibhav Chouske, companion at J Sagar Associates.

“Big tech companies should watch out for new categories of abuse that are likely to be road-tested by the CCI and should tread carefully when it comes to exclusive licensing or exclusive access to important data sets,” Choukse stated.

The fee additionally raised the difficulty of the sturdy community impact that WhatsApp loved. This was evident from the truth that regardless of a rise within the downloads of competing apps like Signal and Telegram, the consumer base of WhatsApp apparently didn’t endure any vital loss, the order has stated.

Network impact is a phenomenon during which the worth of a service improves when it has a better variety of customers.

While the CCI can be investigating Google’s GPay over its unique fee choice for in-app purchases in Google Play Store, the findings from the WhatsApp probe are unlikely to have any bearing on such circumstances because the fee offers with these on a case-to-case foundation, stated Dhanendra Kumar, former chairman of the CCI.

The competitors watchdog has had the chance to delve into the connection between knowledge sharing and competitors throughout its evaluation of Facebook’s take care of Reliance to amass a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms.


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