Alphabet Inc.’s Google has been fined $161.95 million ($13.38 billion) by India’s competition regulator for engaging in anti-competitive activities and directed to modify how it approaches the Android platform.
The internet giant has been charged with making “one-sided deals” with smartphone manufacturers in order to maintain the dominance of its apps, according to the nation’s competition commission. Google has been told to “stop and desist” from these actions. Google has not yet replied to the penalty or the charges.
Google used its market dominance in areas like online search and the Android app store to defend its applications like Chrome and YouTube in mobile web browsers and online video hosting. This tactic stifled competition while providing Google with ongoing access to consumer data and valuable advertising opportunities.
Additionally, CCI forbade Google from entering into certain revenue-sharing arrangements with smartphone manufacturers, stating that such actions had aided in securing Google’s search service’s exclusivity “to the absolute exclusion of competitors.”
According to CCI, “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.”
After receiving concerns from users of Android-based smartphones in the nation back in April 2019, the CCI commissioned a thorough inquiry into the situation. Google was accused of using unfair, anti-competitive, and restrictive trading practices in the mobile operating system and related areas by the CCI’s investigation branch.
The investigation has also alleged that Google imposed one-sided contracts on device manufacturers and app developers in order to maintain the dominance of its own products and applications among consumers and to ensure that they were pre-installed as well as the default choices for the majority of users.
Regulators from all over the world are imposing further fines and requirements on Google. South Korea issued a lower charge for banning heavy Android skins, while the EU upheld a €4.1 billion fine over the same concerns. Additionally, the US is suing Google for antitrust violations. The Android ecosystem will reportedly receive less funding from Google as a result of these anti-trust concerns as it plans to focus more on developing its own hardware. The distribution of third-party app shops through the Play Store need to be permitted.