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On 1 June 2017, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed an NGO’s complaint against alleged predatory pricing by WhatsApp.
NCLAT set aside the petition and upheld the CCI’s 2017 order dismissing the predatory pricing complaint against instant messaging platform WhatsApp.
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) said that WhatsApp was undoubtedly in a “dominant position” but had not “abused its dominant position” based on the inputs provided by the appellant, NGO Fight for Transparency Society.
“We find no irregularity in the findings of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and therefore the ‘appeal’ deserves to be dismissed and is therefore dismissed,” the NCLAT order dated August 2, 2022 said.
On 1 June 2017, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed an NGO’s complaint of alleged predatory pricing by WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook in 2014, by not charging users any subscription fee.
The complaint was dismissed by the CCI, following which the NGO challenged the order before the NCLAT, seeking that the fair trade regulator’s order be set aside and that an inquiry be directed into the matter.
The NCLAT noted that the mere updating of the terms and the consent or disapproval of users does not constitute an abuse of a dominant position in the relevant market where WhatsApp acts as one of the service providers in the form of a messaging application.
The two-member group also found that there are several news providers available in the market.
“It has become a common practice in the digital age,” said the NCLAT, which is an appellate body over orders issued by the CCI.
The NCLAT also stated that the law laid down by foreign authorities is not binding on it.