HomeNewsCCI fined Google Rs. 1337.76 crore for anti-competitive Android behaviour: Everything you...

CCI fined Google Rs. 1337.76 crore for anti-competitive Android behaviour: Everything you need to know

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On Thursday, India’s competition watchdog fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google Rs. 1337.76 crore ($161.95 million) and told the company to change its strategy for the Android platform. Furthermore, the Commission instructed Google to change its behaviour within a specific time frame.

According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Google used its market dominance in markets such as online search and Android app stores to protect its programmes such as Chrome and YouTube in mobile Web browsers and online video hosting. CCI also barred Google from entering into revenue-sharing agreements with smartphone manufacturers because they aided Google’s acquisition of search service dominance to the exclusion of competitors. The Commission investigated how Google licences Android and its own mobile apps in this case (like the Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, YouTube, etc.).

Two junior Indian antitrust research associates and a law student filed a complaint about Android in 2019. The Indian lawsuit is similar to Google’s European $5 billion fine for forcing manufacturers to pre-install its apps on Android smartphones. Furthermore, India’s technology sector is tightening, and US corporations are facing antitrust lawsuits. The competition watchdog is looking into Google’s smart TV business and in-app payments system. To refresh our memories, Google was fined Rs. 135.86 crore by the CCI in 2018 for search bias.

The CCI Statement’s Key Takeaways

  • India told Google on Thursday that it couldn’t stop people from removing pre-installed apps like Google Maps and Gmail from their smartphones. CCI also requested that Google allow users to select their preferred search engine for all relevant services when setting up a phone for the first time.
  • Google will not impose any restrictions on how app developers can distribute their apps to users via side-loading. CCI also says that Google lets developers of app stores sell their apps through the Play Store.
  • Google will not deny OEMs, app developers, or competitors access to the Play Services APIs. This ensures that apps run on both the Android OS and Android Forks. This patch enables app developers to quickly port their applications to Android forks. Google won’t pay OEMs or do anything else to make sure that only they can use its search service.
  • Google will not enforce OEM anti-fragmentation agreements such as AFA or ACC. OEMs should be allowed to create smart devices based on Android forks that do not require Google’s exclusive apps.
  • Google will not compensate OEMs for failing to sell Android fork-based smart devices. As a result of Google’s violation of Section 4 of the Act, the Commission imposed a provisional fine of Rs. 1337.76 crore on the company. Google has 30 days to provide the necessary financial information and supporting documentation.

CCI said in a statement, adding to the story, that

The Commission opined that the 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. By virtue of the agreements discussed above, Google ensured that users continue to use its search services on mobile devices which facilitated un-interrupted growth of advertisement revenue for Google.


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