January 16, 2023

India fines Google $162 million for anti-competitive practices on Android


India’s antitrust watchdog fined Google $161.9 million on Thursday for anti-competitive practices related to Android mobile devices in “multiple markets” in a major setback for the search giant in the key overseas region.

The Competition Commission of India, which began investigating Google several years ago after complaints from local firms, said in its order that Google requiring device manufacturers to pre-install its entire Google Mobile Suite and mandating prominent placement of those apps “amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers and thereby in contravention of the provisions of Section 4(2)(a)(i) of the Act.”

The order also found:

Google has perpetuated its dominant position in the online search market resulting in denial of market access for competing search apps in contravention of Section 4(2)(c) of the Act.

Google has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to protect its position in online general search in contravention of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act.

Google has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to enter as well as protect its position in non-OS specific web browser market through Google Chrome App and thereby contravened the provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act.

Google has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to enter as well as protect its position in OVHPs market through YouTube and thereby contravened provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act.

Google, by making pre-installation of Google’s proprietary apps (particularly Google Play Store) conditional upon signing of AFA/ ACC for all Android devices manufactured/ distributed/ marketed by device manufacturers, has reduced the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operating on alternative versions of Android i.e., Android forks and thereby limited technical or scientific development to the prejudice of the consumers, in violation of the provisions of Section 4(2)(b)(ii) of the Act.

(More to follow)



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