The aim of the study is to inquire about the presence of various players in the ‘search engine’ and the ‘smartphone application’ markets, and scrutinize their conduct under the lens of competition laws. The role of such markets would be understood in the context of larger digital tech space and their contribution to the economic framework (Renda 2016). There have been few allegations made against a couple of entities to: 1) manipulate the search results produced in the search engine, as well as smartphone application markets; 2) impose unfair commission rate on the various service providers of the revenue generated through the listing on application stores to name a few (Ilan 2007, CCI 2019). Even though the primary lens of the investigation would be the Indian Competition Act, 2002, reliance would be paid on the jurisprudence available in cross-jurisdictions like the United States, European Union, etc. to quote the evidence, and relate it with the results produced as part of the primary research to reach to the conclusions and make recommendations to the Indian policymaker (Hazan 2013, Hemphill 2019, Lao 2012 et al.).
The study would look into the interface between the sub-markets formed under the Big Tech, and how the availability of data and other common modus-operandi allows the dominant entities to assert their presence in the yet-to-be-developed markets (Barwise 2018, Lee 2006). Due emphasis would be paid on the mergers and acquisitions happening in the digital space, particularly related to the Big Tech companies, and if this has resulted into any adverse effect on competition. Instances of approvals given by the regulators across the globe would also be scrutinized as part of the literature review to assess if competition bodies are conducting due-diligence in terms of delineating vertical and horizontal chains across the production and supply chain (Today 2020).
The overall goals of the research would be to assess the larger competition landscape present in the digital markets both in terms of the social as well as economic framework in furtherance of the digital rights of the population. The study would assess the overall impact on the choices available to the end-users in the tech market, and if the stated competition policy across jurisdictions has been able to strive its twin goals, i.e. equitable growth and spur entrepreneurship and innovation through creation of new business opportunities.
1. Renda, Andrea. SEEING THE FOREST FOR THE TREES: Why the Digital Single Market Matters for Transatlantic Relations. Report. Edited by XAVIER-BENDER GUILLAUME. German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2016. 15-32. Accessed March 6, 2021.
3. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/14779960710837623/full/html https://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/07-of-2020.pdf
4. Hazan, Joshua G. “Stop Being Evil: A Proposal for Unbiased Google Search.” Michigan Law Review 111, no. 5 (2013): 789-820. Accessed March 6, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23812653.
5. Hemphill, C. Scott. “DISRUPTIVE INCUMBENTS: PLATFORM COMPETITION IN AN AGE OF MACHINE LEARNING.” Columbia Law Review 119, no. 7 (2019): 1973-2000. Accessed March 6, 2021. doi:10.2307/26810856.
6. Lao, Marina. “THE PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD: THE ANTITRUST OBJECTIONS TO THE GOOGLE BOOKS SETTLEMENT.” Antitrust Law Journal 78, no. 2 (2012): 397-442. Accessed March 6, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43486985.
8. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-sues-monopolist-google-violating-antitrust laws
10. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/googles-advertising-practices-targeted-by-eu antitrust-probe/article33624205.ece
11. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/02/european-commission-opens-probe-into-google-and facebook-for-data-use.html
13. Lee, Eocman, Jeho Lee, and Jongseok Lee. “Reconsideration of the Winner-Take-All Hypothesis: Complex Networks and Local Bias.” Management Science 52, no. 12 (2006): 1838-848. Accessed March 6, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20110658.
14. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/facebook-ril-deal-cci-raises-concerns-over-data sharing-pact-fb-assures-limited/story/418090.html