IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 16th Nov 2020
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Tim Ferriss
EDITORIAL HUNT #244 :“ Antitrust Case Against Google -2020 | UPSC”
Rajat Kathuria | Mansi Kedia
Antitrust Case Against Google -2020 | UPSC
Antitrust case in tech space needs to be built on intellectual evidence, rather than on ideology
Anti-trust proceedings against Google could mark a shift from the times when it, along with Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, dictated terms in the tech world.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : 3 : Competition Commission of India : Trade
Google is facing a new antitrust case in U.S. and India. It is alleged to have abused its Android operating system’s position in the smart television market.Comment -(GS 3)
- What is Anti-Trust proceedings ?
- Consumer Protection
- Cartelization effect
- Predatory Pricing
- Way Forward.
- ANTITRUST LAWS : Antitrust laws are regulations that encourage competition by limiting the market power of any particular firm.
- CONSUMER PROTECTION : Antitrust laws are statutes developed by states to protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition.
- WIDE APPLICATION : Antitrust laws are applied to a wide range of questionable business activities, including market allocation, bid rigging, price fixing etc.
THE TECH SPACE
- THE CHARGES ON GOOGLE : The use of monopoly power to exclude potential rivals from gaining a foothold in the market, also known in competition law as “exclusionary conduct”.
- MICROSOFT’s MARKET SPACE : In 1998 accused and found Microsoft guilty of using its considerable muscle in the operating system (OS) market to effectively destroy Netscape Navigator in the browser market.
- THE MICROSOFT PACKAGE : Microsoft did this by bundling its own browser, Internet Explorer with its Windows OS and “refused to deal” with any computer hardware manufacturer who dealt with the now-defunct Netscape.
SOURCES : ECONOMIC TIMES
- ALLEGATIONS ON GOOGLE : Google exercises exclusion by paying phone-makers such as Apple ; huge sums of money to pre-install its proprietary search engine on devices
- Thus cementing its monopoly in search and sustaining it by the advertising profits it generates because of its dominance.
- COMPETITORS CONCERNS : For competitors it is a virtuous cycle that gets created in search and advertising for Google but not so for consumers, who are deprived of alternatives.
- THE SEARCH DOMINANCE : The EC claimed that Google abused the ownership of its Android mobile operating system to reinforce dominance in search.
- EXCLUSIVITY IN MARKETING : The EC also found Google guilty of making payments to large manufacturers that agreed to exclusively pre-install the Google search app on their devices.
GOOGLE’S MARKET SHARE | SOURCES : TECH CRUNCH
- BATTLE FOR AI : One is the battle for technological supremacy between China and the US manifested in ambitions of dominance in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- COUNTER IMPACT : Presumably self-serving, was created in the US that to counter the state-led, data-abundant development of AI in China, the US needed to create its own national champions.
- DIGITAL CONGLOMERATES : This digital “conglomerisation” is reminiscent of the merger waves in the US in the 1980s and 1990s when several firms with free cash flows bought others in order to build empires.
- MARKETING PUNISHMENTS : Managerial hubris are not resolved by the market punishing the bad managers because a firm has to maximise profits and efficiency which will be punished by the competitive forces of the market.
- A STRUCTURAL CHANGE : A structural remedy or breaking up the tech monopoly, while appealing to the popular spirit, is, according to us, a recipe for failure.
- PROFOUND NETWORK : Google can be affected in this space for a short time or the broken entity will become big again sooner than later.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Antitrust Case Against Google -2020 | UPSC