The Indian government penalized Google 13 billion rupees ($161 million; £144 million) for dominating the market with its Android platform.
The country’s competition regulator has accused Google of entering into “one-sided arrangements” with smartphone manufacturers in order to maintain the dominance of its apps. It has ordered Google to “stop and desist” such behaviour. Google has yet to comment on the penalties or the allegations.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) stated that Google was abusing the licencing of its Android operating system for a variety of smartphones, web searches, browsing, and video hosting services. It stated that Google was getting into forced deals with players in the industry to ensure that its suite of programmes – such as Google Chrome, YouTube, and others was available on android phones even before purchase.
According to the statement, this method stifled competition and provided Google with continual access to consumer data and lucrative advertising opportunities. The CCI has also requested that Google refrain from requiring device manufacturers to pre-load its apps and instead let manufacturers and consumers install apps of their choosing during initial device setup.
What they want
The argument is that Markets should be permitted to compete on merits, and the onus is on dominant firms (in this case, Google) to ensure that their conduct does not impede this competition on merits.
The case is similar to one Google faced in Europe five years ago, where regulators fined the corporation $5 billion for manipulating its Android operating system to obtain an unfair market advantage.