The international market is fast becoming a tricky place for tech giants to operate in, and things are only getting tougher by the day. Amazon and Apple have experienced this, and soon after Google was fined $177 million in South Korea for abusing its dominance in the market, the powerhouse finds itself in a similar predicament in India as well. The Android maker has been guilty of abusing its dominant position to stifle competition in India, according to a report by the Competition Commission of India, the country’s antitrust regulator.
This marks the latest setback for Google in the world’s second-largest internet market, which also happens to be dominated by Android phones.
CCI had opened a probe into whether the dominance of Android in the Indian market had led to Google abusing its power quite some time ago. This report has now found that the tech giant is indeed guilty, and had been making things tough for its competitors by reducing their ability and incentive to develop and sell devices that run alternate versions of Android, as well as making it mandatory for device manufacturers to pre-install its apps, something that violates India’s current competition law.
Google has said in a statement it looks forward to working with the CCI to “demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.” It has already submitted at least 24 responses during the probe, defending itself and arguing it was not hurting competition.
For now, things do not look good for Google, as India no longer aims to let foreign behemoths abuse their power and dominance in the market and blatantly flout its laws and stifle competition for both overseas and domestic rivals.
According to the 750-page report, the mandatory pre-installation of apps “amounts to imposition of an unfair condition on the device manufacturers” in violation of India’s competition law, while the company’s Play Store was used to protect its dominance. The Play Store is yet another area which the probe has uncovered, and the CCI said that its policies were “one-sided, ambiguous, vague, biased and arbitrary.”