One judgement is not going to change everything, but it is a significant one. The battle is going to be long drawn and keenly fought. And another one more thing: ‘The God is in Details’. And detailed one it is, addresses some of our key grievances especially the mandatory pre-installation of entire Google Mobile Suite under MADA (with no option to uninstall) and their prominent placement amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers. Another important observation among others that actually look into the harmful impact of anti-competitive practices in inhibiting innovation and in turn hurting the end consumer is—”by making pre-installation of Google’s proprietary apps (particularly Google Play Store) conditional upon signing of AFA/ACC for all android devices manufactured/ distributed/marketed by device manufacturers, has reduced the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operating on alternative versions of Android i.e., Android forks and thereby limited technical or scientific development to the prejudice of the consumers”. And there are more such observations in a judgement that is quite unambiguous, in-depth and duly considered.
The CCI judgment needs to be implemented strongly and quickly, in letter and spirit, without loopholes, to prevent more damage to India as a country, Indians as consumers, and the Indian ecosystem. And a lot more needs to be done to rebalance the playing field ensuring a level playing field amongst Indian and foreign tech companies.
The Indian digital app and platform ecosystem existed far before foreign big-tech, and is much better in terms of its offerings for Indians—CCI findings show how Indian indigenous apps have been suppressed, and that’s the main reason most Indians haven’t been able to access and use the better, more local Indian apps, leading to Indians not being able to appreciate and benefit from the value of Indian app.
In the mapping search sector, which is one of the most, if not the most, core and widespread search service, MapmyIndia has been creating digital maps since 1995, and http://MapmyIndia.com internet mapping and local search and navigation service has been there since 2004—far before foreign big-tech even launched globally, let alone India. The indigenous map search and navigation app from MapmyIndia is called Mappls (http://www.mappls.com, http://www.mappls.com/getApp), and offers a whole host of features which are far better than the foreign big-tech mapping app—with features that enable road safety and prevention of accidents, doorstep level navigation efficiency, community-driven hyper local map-based reporting which help fix issues on ground, and just much richer, cooler 3D and 360 degree Metaverse Maps—offering a far richer and better mapping experience—that most consumers don’t know about! Those who have downloaded and used Mappls app realise how much better it is, and those who use MapmyIndia Mappls APIs and technology solutions realise how much more powerful it is.
We hope the CCI judgement is the start of a change that helps the Indian ecosystem prosper far more.
Rohan Verma is chief executive officer and executive director at MapmyIndia
The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of BQ Prime or its editorial team.