Turning the heat on Google, homegrown digital map provider MapmyIndia has joined OSlabs Technology to assert before the Supreme Court that the tech giant has “systematically through search manipulation and other anti-competitive conduct” captured the market and thereby thwarted the growth of Indian start-ups.
MapmyIndia filed an impleadment application before the apex court on Monday after Google failed to get any immediate reprieve on its appeal against the CCI ruling. The tech giant’s 90-day window for compliance of the Competition Commission’s 10 non-monetary directions ends on Thursday. Earlier, OSlabs Technology – a direct competitor of Google in two verticals, namely app stores and mobile operation systems — had also moved the Supreme Court to oppose Google’s appeal.
If no interim relief comes through on Wednesday, the tech giant may have to change its business model, including allowing third party app stores and Android forks (unique versions of Android) and remove several restrictions currently placed on device manufacturers through what is seen as anti-competitive agreements.
MapmyIndia, which started its operations in 1995, was the first Indian company to create India’s digital map data product. It had also created its indigenous internet mapping portal and platform, mapmyindia.com, in 2004. MapmyIndia competes with a vertical of Google named Google Maps, which was launched globally only in 2005 and entered India around 2007.
Google Maps’ dominance
In its impleadment application, MapmyIndia noted that Google, owing to its dominance in the search engine market, also bundled Google Maps, and provides Google Maps widgets on top of any search in addition to a separate link on every search.
The links for other competitors, such as the applicant’s (MapmyIndia) are shown much lower in the list, and hence Google suppressed other better quality and more prominent Indian map links from MapmyIndia, or in fact, removed them from search results altogether, according to the application.
Google has very systematically, through its various conducts, captured and deprived the market from any competition whatsoever, the application said.