CCI fines Google ₹1,337 cr for abusing dominant position in Android mobile ecosystem

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The Competition Commission of India on Thursday imposed a fine of 1,337.76 crore on tech giant Google for ‘abusing its dominant position’ in multiple markets in the android mobile device ecosystem.

The fair trade regulator directed the internet major to cease and desist from unfair business practices.

In a release, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it has further directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.

The CCI said that mandatory pre-installation of entire Google Mobile Suite (GMS) under Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA), with no option to uninstall the same, and their prominent placement amount to the imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers and thereby contravenes competition law.

“These obligations are also found to be in the nature of supplementary obligations imposed by Google on OEMs and thus, in contravention of Section 4(2)(d) of the Act,” it added. Section 4 of the Competition Act pertains to abuse of dominant position.

According to the The CCI also said noted that the internet major has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to enter as well as protect its position in non-OS specific web browser market through Google Chrome App.

“Google has leveraged its dominant position in the app store market for Android OS to enter as well as protect its position in Online Video Hosting Platforms (OVHPs) market through YouTube and thereby contravened provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act,” the release said.

In April 2019, the trade regulator had ordered a detailed investigation into the matter following complaints by consumers of Android-based smartphones in the country. Android is an open-source, mobile operating system installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of smartphones and tablets.

The allegations of unfair business practices pertained to two agreements — MADA and Anti Fragmentation Agreement (AFA) — which were entered into by the OEMs of Android OS with Google.

(With inputs from agencies)


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