The Indian government fined Google 13 billion rupees ($161 million; £144 million) for dominating the market with its Android platform. The country’s competition regulator has accused Google of entering into “one-sided agreements” with smartphone manufacturers in order to ensure the dominance of its apps.
It has ordered Google to “cease and desist” such behavior. Google has yet to respond to the fine or the allegations.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) stated that Google was “abusing” the licensing of its Android operating system for a variety of smartphones, web searches, browsing, and video hosting services.
It claimed that Google was entering into forced agreements with industry players to ensure that its suite of apps, including Google Chrome, YouTube, and Google Maps, were used.
According to the statement, this practice stifled competition and provided Google with continuous access to consumer data and lucrative advertising opportunities.
The CCI has also requested that Google refrain from requiring device manufacturers to pre-install its apps and instead allow manufacturers and users to install apps of their choice during initial device setup.
“Markets should be allowed to compete on merits and the onus is on the dominant players (in the present case, Google) that its conduct does not impinge this competition on merits,” the statement said.
In India, Google is facing a slew of antitrust cases, and authorities are also looking into Google’s behavior in the smart TV market and its in-app payments system.
The Android-related investigation was launched in 2019 in response to consumer complaints about Android smartphones.
The case is similar to one Google faced in Europe, where regulators fined the company $5 billion for using its Android operating system to gain an unfair market advantage.
(Adapted from Daily-Sun.com)