India Slaps Google with US$162 Million Fine

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined Google INR13.4 billion ($162 million) after a probe spanning several years over anti-competitive practices relating to its Android OS.

CCI is the latest regulator to target the search giant’s market dominance.

In a release issued on October 20, the antitrust watchdog explained it had ordered Google to change its ways after finding the company abused its dominant position by mandating device manufacturers install its entire exclusive Google Mobile Suite under Mobile Distribution Agreement without giving vendors the choice to opt out.

The same agreement allowed Google to ensure key entry points including the Google App and Chrome browser are set up on Android handsets, furthering the discovery engine’s already significant position.

The CCI argued Google established a monopoly through various market agreements to govern its rights including anti-fragmentation, Android compatibility and revenue sharing agreements, with competitors unable to “avail the same level of market access” as the US company.

It also highlighted revenue generated from YouTube and other apps had resulted in unhealthy market barriers and “status quo bias”.

The CCI investigated Google’s licensing, app store, search services, mobile browsers and video hosting platform in India, concluding the company held a dominant position in all five sectors.

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