Anti-competitive Activities of Google Harm Indian Economy: CEO MapmyIndia

Anti-competitive Activities of Google Harm Indian Economy: CEO MapmyIndia

Tech giant Google has been in news and in trouble due to the ongoing allegations related to anti-competitive activities in Indian market. Google was recently fined by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), but later it approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to appeal against CCI’s decision. Rohan Verma, CEO & ED, MapmyIndia & Mappls has released a statement for this action against Google and has emphasized on increasing awareness about this in Indian market.

“The CCI judgments against Google in October this year and the Parliamentary Standing Committee report that came out this week are excellent. I am, and everyone should also be, shocked to see Google’s statements in the media with respect to CCI’s ruling and their move in NCLAT. Google’s brazen anti-competitive practices for many years to stifle competition and consumer choice in India have been detailed out with evidence and statements in hundreds of pages of the CCI judgments and Parliamentary Standing Committee report. It is common knowledge in industry, government, regulators and those who have studied the matter in detail that Google is an anti-competitive monopoly that perpetuates its monopolies across newer and newer markets through anti-competitive practices that Google has made it pretty much impossible for alternative operating systems, app stores, and apps like maps to proliferate amongst OEMs and users, even though better alternatives to Google exist in various categories,” said Rohan in the statement.

He further stated, “The dangerous tragedy for Indian consumers has been that Google has prevented very critical, life-saving benefits of Indian apps such as MapmyIndia Mappls to reach them widely. For eg Mappls Junction View helps users drive and navigate safely when approaching flyovers, telling them through 3D photo-realistic guidance whether to climb or avoid, preventing confusion and accidents. Yet, because Google has forced preloading of its Google maps app which doesn’t provide this feature, Indians at large don’t know and benefit from this. During COVID in 2020, MapmyIndia’s app was showing people nearby containment zones as well as testing and treatment centres, helping them stay safe, something which Google Maps didn’t provide then. But Google removed MapmyIndia’s app from the Google Play Store. Why? So that Google can fill its own coffers and maintain a vice-grip over the market, ensuring all of India and all Indians are subservient to them.”

“These anti-competitive activities of Google harm Indian consumers and harm the Indian economy by stifling Indian swadeshi competitors like MapmyIndia who in fact were the market pioneers and leaders - MapmyIndia started in 1995 and launches its online maps in 2004, before Google Maps launched world-wide let alone India - and MapmyIndia’s maps and technologies still remain far ahead of Google, yet in terms of consumer market share are very low simply because of Google’s various anti-competitive activities and skirting of Indian regulations. Success of Indian companies such as MapmyIndia, which are public companies with lakhs of Indian shareholders, would create the value and wealth within India. All this is taken away because of Google, whose coffers filled lead to majority wealth creation not in India but in other countries,” he added further.

“This week, Google moved NCLAT to fight against CCI and rolled out its big guns and  PR machinery to disingenuously create spin, attempting to influence, coerce and shape the narrative in its own favour to prevent the excellent initiatives of CCI, Government of India and Parliament from being seen through.”

Rohan said, “There is urgent need for mass awareness of and action against Google’s anti-competitive and monopolistic practices, as well as awareness and adoption of alternatives to Google such as MapmyIndia Mappls. Each pro-India stakeholder across media, citizens, private industry, government, regulators, judiciary, OEMs, app developers etc can play their role in warding off the evil foreign-big tech.

  • Media should write about the negatives of Google, and not fall prey to Google’s one-sided spin. The Media should talk about Indian alternatives across various categories such as MapmyIndia in maps.
  • Citizens and consumers should find and use alternatives to Google, which are frankly much better - in maps and navigation for e.g. use the Mappls app by MapmyIndia.
  • OEMs should not pre-load Google apps like maps, and should offer alternatives to users, which frankly would help OEMs differentiate themselves and help them give better alternatives.
  • Government, regulators and judiciary - who I laud for their strong steps in the recent couple of years to break this anti-competitive vice-grip should do more of the same and ensure enforcement is seen through till the end and definitely not entertain Google’s appeal against the CCI judgment.
  • Industry and app developers should find and adopt alternative solutions to Google enterprise or cloud offerings, for eg in mapping, MapmyIndia Mappls APIs and enterprise digital transformation and cloud solutions, so that their dependence on Google reduces.

“India and Indians have already once faced the pain of colonisation, letting the East India Company in, leading to the British taking over for 200 years and destroying India and Indian wealth. The last 15 years, India has let Google in - we should collectively and immediately stop Google. This is the only way for India to achieve its rightful Amrit Kaal and not let another 200 years of destiny be snatched away by a foreign Goliath company,” concluded by Rohan.

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