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Case Law Details

Case Name : Rachna Khaira Vs Google India Private Limited (Competition Commission of India)
Appeal Number : Case No. 03 of 2023
Date of Judgement/Order : 24/06/2024
Related Assessment Year :
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Rachna Khaira Vs Google India Private Limited (Competition Commission of India)

In the case of Rachna Khaira vs. Google India Private Limited before the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the issue revolved around allegations that Google had provided preferential treatment to Truecaller, thereby creating a monopoly in the market for caller ID and spam protection apps. Rachna Khaira, the informant, filed the case under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002, accusing Google of violating Section 4 of the Act.

The crux of the allegation was that Google allegedly allowed Truecaller exclusive access to Android users’ private contact information while restricting other apps from doing so. This, according to the informant, unfairly favored Truecaller and distorted competition in the market. The informant cited Google’s Developer Policy, which prohibits unauthorized disclosure of non-public contacts, juxtaposed against Truecaller’s privacy policy, which allegedly allows for such disclosures.

Furthermore, it was argued that Google’s commercial arrangements with Truecaller, including the use of Google’s cloud storage and advertising services, contributed to this alleged preferential treatment. The informant sought various reliefs, including enforcing uniform policies for all applications, prohibiting Google from favoring Truecaller, and imposing penalties for anti-competitive behavior. Interim relief was also sought to temporarily block Truecaller from Google’s Play Store pending resolution of the case.

After due consideration and multiple hearings, the CCI examined the evidence presented by both parties. Google countered the allegations by asserting that all apps on its Play Store must adhere to strict policies regarding user data privacy, and any violations alleged by the informant pertained to versions of Truecaller’s app not distributed via the Play Store. Google clarified that its APIs are open-source and accessible to all developers equally, refuting claims of preferential access to Truecaller.

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July 2024