- Ideally speaking, in a free-world enterprise, monopolistic practices are not only uncalled for but also would be termed as counterproductive moves yielding little and not on expected lines. Moreso in the present times as the universe basks in the glory of unprecedented developments on the back of mind-blowing technological prowess in every significant field out there. Innovations, inventions, and dynamically evolving interventions have become the order of the day. However, there is no denying the fact that monopoly rules the roost courtesy of intellectual property rights and patents essay crucial roles. Of course, there is no free lunch in the cutthroat world of business enterprises but the watertight stranglehold is also not to be encouraged.
PC: Alexander Alemis
- Take for instance what’s happening with some Big Tech companies. As reported, Google this week began to change the business model used in India to push its Android operating system (OS) and the Google Pay Store. Mind you, the change was triggered by the Supreme Court setting January 26 as the deadline for Google to comply with the Competition Commission of India’s rulings. In the new model, smartphone makers can sidestep the bouquet and instead license individual apps from Google. Also, its search engine will not necessarily be the default setting. Yes, the regulatory crackdown here needs to be located in a global context. Google’s business model is under scrutiny in major economies. Let’s delve further into the same.
- Remember, South Korea’s parliament in 2021 passed a bill imposing curbs on the proprietary billing system of Google and Apple. EU in May will enforce a new law, Digital Markets Act, which will prevent gatekeepers from engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. It will no longer be business as usual for the Android OS ecosystem which runs more than 3 billion smartphones globally. The moot point to ponder over here is how far will this regulatory pushback against Google change the OS landscape. Notably, it will surely chip away at Google’s dominance but a substantial change in the future is unlikely. It’s because of the walled garden approach that ensured Android’s dominance is based on a complex model of cross-subsidies.
PC: Saheli Roy Choudhury
- Google’s huge user base comes from offering free services such as a search engine and email. This user base is then monetized for advertising revenue. Thus, even third-party apps cannot wish away Google. Application Programming Interfaces offered by Google allow app developers to utilize a number of its services. It reduces development costs for third-party app developers. This web of cross-subsidies cannot be disentangled overnight. Yet, the regulatory crackdown on the Android ecosystem is necessary to open the door to more competition. It may not happen overnight but the process is truly underway. For regulators, the takeaway is that the digital world’s economies of scope require a new set of tools.