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Google Meet- Gmail Integration: CCI Dismisses Plea Alleging Anti -Competitive Practices By Google

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
1 Feb 2021 1:52 PM GMT
Google Meet- Gmail Integration: CCI Dismisses Plea Alleging Anti -Competitive Practices By Google
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The Competition Commission of India has dismissed a complaint alleging abuse of dominant position by Google by integrating the Meet App into the Gmail App.Even though Meet tab has been incorporated in the Gmail app, Gmail does not coerce users to use Meet exclusively and the consumers are also at freewill to use either Meet or any other VC app for video conferencing, the Commission headed by...

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The Competition Commission of India has dismissed a complaint alleging abuse of dominant position by Google by integrating the Meet App into the Gmail App.

Even though Meet tab has been incorporated in the Gmail app, Gmail does not coerce users to use Meet exclusively and the consumers are also at freewill to use either Meet or any other VC app for video conferencing, the Commission headed by the Chairperson Ashok Kumar Gupta observed. 

One Baglekar Akash Kumar had approached the Commission alleging that the integration of Google Meet (a video conferencing facility offered by Google) into the Gmail (an emailing facility offered by Google) by OPs contravenes the provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Competition Act. Due to the onset of COVID-19, most meetings and conferences are happening virtually and the Google has used its dominant position in e-mail services to enter another relevant market of videoconferencing, it was alleged in the complaint.

The Commission, examining the complaint, noted that the users of Gmail are not forced to necessarily use Google Meet, and there does not appear to be any adverse consequences on the users of Gmail for not using Google Meet, such as withdrawal of Gmail or any of its functionalities or other services that are so far being provided by Google. A Gmail user at his/ her 'free will' can use any of the competing VC apps, it said.

Further,  it noted that anyone with a Google Account (not necessarily a Gmail User) can create an online meeting using Google Meet. "Further, for creating a Google account, the user need not be a user of Gmail. He/she can use email ID created on any other platform for creating a Google account. Thus, Google Meet is available as an independent app outside the Gmail ecosystem also. Consumers are free to choose from an array of video-conferencing Apps such as Zoom, Skype, Cisco Webex, We Conference, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet would be competing with the like of such Apps for providing services.", it observed.

The Commission therefore closed the complaint observing that regardless of whether Gmail is a dominant app or not in the relevant market of providing email services in India, the conduct of Google does not violate the provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act.


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