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India is launching an antitrust probe against Google

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had launched a probe against Google on the counts of abusing Android’s market dominance for blocking its rivals. The antitrust complaint against the tech giant says that it had restricted the device manufacturers from opting alternative versions of the Android mobile operating system, according to Indian officials.

Google made pre-installation of its proprietary applications conditional and thereby “reduced the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operated on alternate versions of Android. It amounts to prima facie leveraging of Google’s dominance,” read the CCI order.

The 14-page order released by the CCI of India was reviewed by Reuters and it was revealed that the restrictions imposed by Google on the manufacturers account to “unfair conditions” according to India’s competition law.

The order dates back to April 16, and it is reported that the CCI’s investigation must wrap up its ‘wider probe’ in the case within 150 years, unlike typical cases that get dragged on for years altogether.

Google expressed that it looked forward to working with the Indian government’s CCI for underscoring how the tech giant had enabled competition and innovation but not dominance and unfair competition. According to the tech giant, Android had supposedly enabled millions of Indians in connecting to the Internet by making smartphones more affordable.

According to the research by Counterpoint, nearly 99% of smartphones used in India functioned on the Android platform. According to the CCI order, Google stated that the Android operated in an open source capacity within India and hence the scope for pre-installation was limited.

The complainants of the case have referred to a similar case against the tech giant in the Europe where Google was slapped with a $5 billion dollar fine for forcing manufacturers into pre-installing applications on the Android devices.

The watchdog suggested that the role of Google’s executives in the alleged abuse must also be examined. Previously, the CCI imposed 1.36 billion INR ($20 million) fine on Google for search bias and abusing its dominance last year. Google has appealed against the order and the appeal is still pending as of now.

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