Google found guilty of abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device ecosystem
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday imposed a penalty of Rs.1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem. The fair trade regulator CCI also directed Google to cease and desist from unfair business practices. In a detailed five-page statement, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it has also directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.
In April 2019, the regulator ordered a detailed probe into the matter following complaints by consumers of Android-based smartphones in the country. Android is an open-source, mobile operating system installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of smartphones and tablets. The allegations of unfair business practices pertained to two agreements — Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) and Anti Fragmentation Agreement (AFA) — which were entered into by the OEMs of Android OS with Google.
The CCI said it has imposed a penalty of Rs.1,337.76 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem apart from issuing the cease and desist order. CCI said that mandatory pre-installation of the entire Google Mobile Suite (GMS) under MADA, with no option to un-install the same, and their prominent placement amounts to imposition of unfair conditions on the device manufacturers and thereby contravenes competition law.
“These obligations are also found to be in the nature of supplementary obligations imposed by Google on OEMs and thus, in contravention of Section 4(2)(d) of the Act,” it added. Section 4 of the Competition Act pertains to the abuse of a dominant position.
Google has perpetuated its dominant position in the online search market resulting in the denial of market access for competing search apps. Also, it has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to protect its position in general online search, violating the competition law. CCI also said that the Internet major has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to enter as well as protect its position in the non-OS specific web browser market through Google Chrome App.
“Google has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to enter as well as protect its position in Online Video Hosting Platforms (OVHPs) market through YouTube and thereby contravened provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act,” the release said.
The detailed five-page press release on the unfair trade practices by Google is available from CCI’s Twitter handle:
CCI imposes monetary penalty of ₹ 1337.76 crore on Google for abusing dominant position in multiple markets in the Android Mobile device ecosystem.
Press Release: https://t.co/sXXA0RvK51#Antitrust #AntitrustOrder #antitrustlaw #Google #CCI pic.twitter.com/FE5Yh8PWr4
— CCI (@CCI_India) October 20, 2022
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