Author Topic: India start probe over Google's misuse of Android's dominant position  (Read 6962 times)

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While India is the second largest smartphone market in the world, its position as a developing country limits sales of higher-end flagship phones. That is why a value based firm like Xiaomi has done so well in the country. And while Apple expands production of the iPhone in India to current models, there is a huge price discrepancy that manufacturers of Android phones are able to take advantage of. As a result, Android devices have captured approximately 99% of smartphone sales in the region this year according to Counterpoint Research. Reuters reports today that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is looking into claims that Google is abusing this position by forcing manufacturers to pre-install certain apps on their Android phones.

The Indian antitrust regulators didn't publicly announce the charges against Google, but Reuters' sources say that the allegations are similar to a case that the European Commission brought against Google. The EC claimed that Google was forcing phone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search, Google Chrome browser and the Google Play Store on their Android devices, thus giving Google an advantage over other developers. As a result, last summer the EC fined Google a little over $5 billion. Even though Google appealed the fine, last month it unveiled two new screens for Android users in Europe that suggest third-party browsers and search engines that users can install on their Android devices.

If the CCI finds that Google violated antitrust laws in the country, it can impose a fine no higher than 10% of the company's revenue over the last three years that came from Google Search and the Chrome browser in India. Last year, Google was fined 1.36 billion rupees by the CCI (equivalent to $19.46 million USD) for what was called "search bias" and abuse of its dominant position. The company put its own commercial flight search feature on Google Search results. Google appealed this fine as well.