Antitrust probe in India finds Google abused the local smartphone market

in General Discussion edited September 19
Google acted in an anticompetitive way in India, the country's antitrust regulator determined, with the search giant allegedly using its "huge financial muscle" to force its apps to be preinstalled onto Android devices to enable access to the Google Play store.

In 2019, a complaint was made to the Competition Commission of India by two antitrust research associates and a law student, triggering a probe by the regulator into Google's practices. Two years later, a 750-page report has determined that Google is in the wrong.

According to the report, seen by Reuters, Google made it hard for device vendors to use alternate versions of Android, and used its clout to coerce them into preinstalling its apps on their devices.

The regulator deemed Google's actions "amounts to imposition of unfair condition the device manufacturers," violating India's competition law. Play Store policies were also "one-sided, ambiguous, vague, biased, and arbitrary."

In turn, Google reduced "the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operating on alternative versions of Android."

Apple was involved alongside Amazon, Samsung, and 59 other entities that responded to questions in the investigation. Google submitted at least 24 responses.

Google said in a statement it looks forward to working with the CCO to "demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less."

The report still has to be reviewed by senior CCI officials, a person familiar with it states, with Google also set to be given the opportunity to defend itself before the final order is issued by the regulator. Financial penalties could come into play depending on the final order itself, though Google would still be able to challenge any orders via the country's courts.

The report follows days after South Korea fined Google approximately $177 million for leveraging its dominant position, to cap the number of forks of Android, and encouraging the installation of its apps.

According to Counterpoint Research, Android is used on approximately 98% of India's 520 million smartphones. Despite the relatively small coverage of the market, Apple has itself become the target for an antitrust complaint in the country, specifically covering in-app payment policies.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 7
    How about most India’s people is just too poor to afford an iPhone or food for that matter. 

    These governments is just see the big teach as cash cow. 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    All of this anticompetitive monopoly stuff is ridiculous. Apple and Google are not preventing Samsung, LG, etc. from developing their own operating systems. Instead of using Google’s free os, they should stop being lazy and cheap and come up with their own system. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,569member
    India and abuse of power by companies ? Every large Indian company abuse their market control, monopoly ? Take a look at billionaire like Mukesh Ambani ?
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Good.  Now do Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    darkvader said:
    Good.  Now do Apple.
    Nah, just a culling of a few customers is required.  ;)
  • Reply 6 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,564member
    I hate that Goog response. Basically saying “copying creates innovation” and people believe that sh**.

    darkvader said:
    Good.  Now do Apple.

    Morons in the U.S. believe Apple has a monopoly on Apple already.

    Good. Now do Amazon, Netflix, Nintendo, Wal-Mart, Goodwill, Quiktrip, YouTube…
  • Reply 7 of 7
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,468member
    Google isn't required to give away an OS for free.  Install our apps and it is free or $20 per phone sold thank you.
Sign In or Register to comment.