Google has found itself on the wrong side of India’s antitrust watchdog based on the outcome of a recently concluded probe. The Android OS maker, according to the probe, is said to have abused its Android dominant position in India. This, according to the probe, illegally hurts competitors in the market.
According to the probe, Google reduced device manufacturing companies’ ability and incentive to develop and sell devices that run alternative versions of Android. Citing two people familiar with the report, TechCrunch reports that Google’s requirement that makes it mandatory for device manufacturers to pre-install its apps violate India’s competition law.
In response, Google said it hopes to meet with the CCI to demonstrate how “Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”
When it comes to antitrust, India is a familiar ground for Google—the company is not new to the law book being thrown at it. In 2020, a new charge was brought against the search engine giant in the smart TV market.
Allegations of serious abuse of dominance in the smart TV market was brought against Google. The tech giant was accused of allegedly abusing its Android OS’ position in the smart TV market.
The Competition Commission of India, according to Reuters, has been looking into allegations of Google engaging in anti-competitive practices since June. The source says the company has been creating hurdles for firms wanting to use or develop modified versions of Android for smart TVs.
The case was filed by Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand, two antitrust lawyers. Both lawyers, though, declined to make further comments other than confirming that a case has been filed against Google for alleged abuse in the smart TV market.
A source said the Competition Commission of India had directed Google to submit its response to the allegation in writing. The company, however, asked for more time to do so.
In 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Department of Justice was planning to initiate an antitrust probe into the activities of Google as it relates to Search, which it later started later that year. Just last June, reports that the US Department of Justice was preparing to file a suit against Google.
Citing sources with inside information about the matter, the report added that details of what the information would contain were not known.