The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of ₹1,337.76 crore on Alphabet’s Google for anti-competitive practices related to Android mobile devices. The anti-trust watchdog has also ordered Google not to offer any incentives to smartphone makers for exclusively carrying its search services.
CCI accused that Google had abused its dominance in the licensing of its operating system for smart mobile devices, app store market for Android smart mobiles, general web search services, non-operating system specific mobile web browsers, and online video hosting platforms.
CCI also issued cease and desist directions to the tech giant on a number of its business practices. It also directed Google not to deny access to its Play Services plugins to “disadvantaged” original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the licencing of Play Store to OEMs should not be linked to the requirement of pre-installing Google search, Chrome browser, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail or any other Google application.
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. 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.