Google Appoints Former NITI Aayog, CCI Official, as Head of Public Policy in India

Google has appointed Archana Gulati – a former official of NITI Aayog and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) – as its chief of public policy in India, effective this week, a spokesman for Google India told The Indian Express.

Gulati was Joint Secretary, Digital Communications at NITI Aayog from August 2019 to April 2021, prior to which she served as Officer on Special Duty with the Secretary of Telecom for more than two years.

From June 2014 to June 2016, according to her LinkedIn profile, she was a senior official at CCI, dealing with mergers and acquisitions. Gulati’s appointment comes at a time when government and antitrust regulators are increasingly spotlighting the practices of big tech companies that have historically operated in regulatory blindspots.

This year alone, the CCI ordered an investigation into Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, over allegations that the search giant had indulged in “abuse of dominance in news aggregation” and imposed unfair terms on digital news publishers. In another case, the IHK published the first results of proceedings against Google, in which it described the Android owner’s billing system for app developers as “unfair and discriminatory” and paved the way for possible penalties.

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