This is a rundown of last week’s news updates on Antitrust:
CCI investigation into Whatsapp faces pushback
New US Act targets digital advertising monopolies
A bipartisan bill introduced by Senate Republicans and Democrats, termed the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act, aims to restore and protect competition in the digital advertising market by targeting manipulations in ad auctions and the levying of monopoly rents by breaking conflicts of interest that permitted leading platforms to engage in the same. While the bill takes action against two classes of companies, those with more than USD 20 billion revenue per year and those with more than USD 5 billion revenue per year, Google has been targeted directly with each of the rules stipulated, the crux of the issue being that Google plays the roles of a supplier, buyer and manager of an exchange, where ad auctions take place. The bill may cause Google to divest its digital advertising business, and Google has responded by stating that breaking up such tools can potentially harm small businesses and publishers, lower ad quality and create new privacy risks.
Karnataka High Court further restrains CCI in case against Google
The Karnataka High Court has extended its prior order that had temporarily restrained the CCI from divulging confidential information of Google to the complainant Alliance of Digital India Foundation till the next date. The case revolves around Google’s measures of having developers utilise the Google Play billing system for their apps on the Play Store and levying a 15-30% service fee on the sale of digital goods.
Authored by Rohan Jacob (Associate).
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