The Indian Competition Authority dismisses abuse of dominance claims against two online platforms and clarifies that bundling products is not necessarily tying so long as consumers can choose to not use the bundled products (Harshita Chawla / WhatsApp / Facebook)

Key Points The mere fact that a case has been filed by an aggrieved party under the Act, does not take away its character of being a case in rem involving a larger question of fair and competitive markets. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the informant need not necessarily be an aggrieved party to file a case before the CCI. The CCI distinguished the concepts of ‘tying’ and ‘bundling’ and laid down the criteria that needs to be met to make out a case for tying of products / services. Further, the mere existence of a service on account of pre-installation of an mobile phone app, when it does not take away consumer choice cannot amount to abuse. Brief Facts An information was filed against WhatsApp by a practicing advocate, alleging inter alia that WhatsApp abused its

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