India officials have fined Google $161 million for using its Android platform to dominate the market.
The country’s competition regulator has accused the tech giant of entering into “one-sided agreements” with smartphone makers to ensure the dominance of its apps. Because these agreements have allegedly hindered competition, they run against European Union rules.
The Commission on Competition has ordered Google to “cease and desist” from such practices.
Google has not responded to the fine yet.
In a statement on Thursday, the Competition Commission of India accused Google of abusing the licensing of its Android operating system for a variety of devices in order to increase its control.
Google hasn’t been happy with a lot of players in the space, which is what caused it to enter into forced agreements with them.
The statement added that the practice was stifling competition and gave Google access to a wealth of consumer data and lucrative advertising opportunities.
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Google recently released a blog post concerning Android. It unveiled that the company is putting a stronger focus on how Android should be used.
The CCI has asked that Google stop forcing device manufacturers to pre-install or include its apps in the initial setup in order to allow manufacturers and users to install apps of their choice during the initial device setup.
“Markets should be allowed to compete on merits and the onus is on the dominant players (in the present case, Google) that its conduct does not impinge this competition.”
Google has been facing a series of anti-trust cases in India and there have also been concerns about the company’s conduct in the smart TV market, with regulators looking at the company’s in-app payments system.
The sudden influx of complaints in 2019 raised concerns by consumers about whether or not Android was safe for use.
Similar to what Google faced in Europe, the FTC is investigating whether or not Apple had an unfair advantage during its patent battle with Qualcomm.