Google fine Rs. 1337.76 crore ($162 million) by CCI for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour in India

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The competition commission of India (CCI) fined Google Fine $161.95 million (Rs. 1337.76 crores) on Thursday for undermining the competition in India with its current Android market strategy. The Commission also gave Google a deadline in which to change its conduct.

According to the CCI, “Google protected its programmes like Chrome and YouTube in mobile Web browsers and online video hosting by using its dominance in markets like online search and Android app stores.”

Google Fine: The Commission looked at Google’s licencing practises for Android and its own mobile applications in this case (such as Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, YouTube, etc.) and forbade Google from entering into revenue-sharing contracts with smartphone manufacturers because they helped Google monopolise the search service to the complete exclusion of rivals.

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Two young Indian antitrust research associates from 2019 and a law student filed a case about Android. Similar to the $5 billion in fines Google paid to European regulators for forcing manufacturers to pre-install their apps on Android smartphones, the Indian move was taken to address similar issues.

Similar complaints against Google have been filed in the past, and in 2018 the CCI fined the company Rs. 135.86 crores for search bias. The American company is being sued for antitrust issues, and the Indian IT market is getting more competitive. The watchdog for unfair competition is investigating Google’s in-app purchases and smart TV ventures.

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According to the Commission, the markets should be free to compete on the basis of merit, and it is the dominant companies’ (in this case, Google’s) responsibility to ensure that their actions do not obstruct this merit-based competition. Google was able to ensure that users would continue to use its search services on mobile devices thanks to the agreements outlined above, which allowed its ad revenue to increase steadily.

Google Fine:As a result of Google’s infringement of Section 4 of the Act, the Commission imposed a preliminary fine of Rs. 1337.76 crores on the company. Google has 30 days to submit the required financial information and any supplemental paperwork.

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Google Fine:After being fined US$161.95 million for anti-competitive activities, India’s competition watchdog ordered Alphabet Inc.’s Google to modify how it approaches its Android platform.
Separately, the competition authority is also investigating Google’s business practises in the market for smart TVs and its in-app payment system.

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