India antitrust probe finds Google abused Android dominance, report shows By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Google app is seen on a smartphone on this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File Photograph


By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Google abused the dominant place of its Android working system in India, utilizing its “large monetary muscle” to illegally harm opponents, the nation’s antitrust authority present in a report on its two-year probe seen by Reuters.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s Google lowered “the flexibility and incentive of machine producers to develop and promote gadgets working on different variations of Android,” says the June report by the Competitors Fee of India’s (CCI) investigations unit.

The U.S. tech large instructed Reuters in a press release it seems ahead to working with the CCI to “exhibit how Android has led to extra competitors and innovation, not much less.”

Google has not acquired the investigation report, an individual with direct information of the scenario instructed Reuters.

The CCI didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the report. Senior CCI members will evaluate the report and provides Google one other probability to defend itself, earlier than issuing a ultimate order, which may embody penalties, stated one other individual accustomed to the case.

Google would have the ability to attraction any order in India’s courts.

Its findings are the newest antitrust setback for Google in India, the place it faces a number of probes within the funds app and sensible tv markets. The corporate has been investigated in Europe, the USA and elsewhere. This week, South Korea’s antitrust regulator fined Google $180 million for blocking customised variations of Android.


Google submitted at the very least 24 responses in the course of the probe, defending itself and arguing it was not hurting competitors, the report says.

Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:), Inc (NASDAQ:), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), in addition to smartphone makers like Samsung (KS:) and Xiaomi (OTC:), had been amongst 62 entities that responded to CCI questions throughout its Google investigation, the report says.

Android powers 98% of India’s 520 million smartphones, in keeping with Counterpoint Analysis.

When the CCI ordered the probe in 2019, it stated Google appeared to have leveraged its dominance to cut back machine makers’ capacity to go for alternate variations of its cellular working system and pressure them to pre-install Google apps.

The 750-page report finds the necessary pre-installation of apps “quantities to imposition of unfair situation on the machine producers” in violation of India’s competitors legislation, whereas the corporate leveraged the place of its Play Retailer app retailer to guard its dominance.

Play Retailer insurance policies had been “one-sided, ambiguous, obscure, biased and arbitrary”, whereas Android has been “having fun with its dominant place” in licensable working techniques for smartphones and tablets since 2011, the report says.

The probe was triggered in 2019 after two Indian junior antitrust analysis associates and a legislation scholar filed a criticism, Reuters reported.

India stays a key progress marketplace for Google. It stated final 12 months it could spend $10 billion within the nation over 5 to seven years by means of fairness investments and tie-ups, its greatest dedication to a key progress market.

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