India Fines Google US$113 Million for Abuse of Market Dominance

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The Competition Commission of India imposed a $113 million fine on Google for abusing its dominant position within its Play Store app market.

Last week, India already fined Google $162.2 million for abusing its dominant position in several markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem.

“The Competition Commission of India (Commission) today imposed a penalty of Rs. 936.44 crore [$113.6 million] on Google for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies, apart from issuing a cease-and-desist order. The Commission also directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

Play Store is the largest app marketplace in the Android ecosystem, and Google’s control over the Play Store enables it to dictate terms to app developers and force them to use its own payment system, the Indian regulator said.

It found that Google was requiring that app developers exclusively and mandatorily use Google Play’s Billing System not only to receive payments for apps distributed through the Google Play Store but also for certain purchases made by users after installing the app, depriving thereby the developers of the right to choose their own payment system.

In addition, app developers are unable to provide users within the app with a direct link to a web page containing an alternative payment method or encourage the user to purchase a digital good outside of the app, the statement said.

The agency added that if app developers do not comply with Google’s GPBS policy, they are not allowed to sell their apps in the Play Store and thus lose a huge number of potential customers.

The Competition Commission of India has ordered Google to allow app developers to use any third-party billing services and to establish a clear and transparent policy regarding the data collected on the company’s platform.

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