On October 20, the Competition Commission fined Google 1,337.76 crore for abusing its dominant position in a number of markets within the Android mobile ecosystem.
Additionally, the large internet company has been ordered to stop using unfair business methods by the fair-trade authorities. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) stated in a statement that it also gave Google a deadline within which to change its behaviour.
In response to complaints from users of Android-based smartphones in the nation, the regulator requested a thorough investigation in the problem in April 2019. Android is an open-source mobile operating system that is preinstalled on smartphones and tablets by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
The Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) and Anti Fragmentation Agreement (AFA), which were entered into by the OEMs of Android OS with Google, were the subject of the complaints of unfair business practises.
According to the release, the forced pre-installation of the whole Google Mobile Suite (GMS) under MADA, with no choice to remove it, and its significant position amount to the imposition of an unfair condition on the device manufacturers and are therefore in violation of competition law. This was followed by the statement, “These responsibilities are also deemed to be in the form of supplementary obligations imposed by Google on OEMs and, therefore, in violation of Section 4(2)(d) of the Act.” Abuse of a dominant position is covered by Section 4 of the Competition Act.
Due to Google’s continued dominance in the internet search business, rival search apps are unable to access the market. Additionally, it has exploited its strong position in the Android OS app store industry to defend its position in general online search, which is against the law regarding competition. Additionally, CCI highlighted that it has used Google Chrome to enter and defend its position in the non-OS specific web browser industry while leveraging its strong position in the app store market for the Android OS.
The announcement stated that Google had violated the terms of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act by using YouTube to enter the market for online video hosting platforms (OVHPs) and to defend its position there.