CCI slaps Rs1,338-cr fine on Google for Android manipulations

01 Nov 2022


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a fine of Rs1,338 crore on tech giant Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets with its Android mobile operating system. The CCI action was based on information provided by Umar Javeed and Sukarma, both researchers at CC,I and Umar’s younger brother Aaqib, who was a law student at the University of Kashmir

The information was submitted to CCI, the country’s anti-trust regulator, in August 2018. 
CCI initially imposed a fine of Rs136 crore on Google in 2018 for abusing its dominant position in online search and web advertising. 
While imposing the second fine, of a whopping Rs1,338 crore, the CCI put forward ten measures for Google, including that Android device makers shouldn’t be forced to pre-install its services and that Google shall not restrict users from uninstalling of its pre-installed apps, the report said.
The latest and third fine of around Rs36 crore was imposed on 25 October, for abuse of dominance in the app store market.
According to Sukarma, under the Indian competition law, individuals do not lodge complaints or cases with the CCI but only submit “information”.
After considering this information submitted by the trio, the CCI launched an investigation in April 2019 into Google’s conduct in the Android mobile device ecosystem, which eventually resulted in the 20 October CCI judgment and fine.
In its response, Google had said it would review the competition watchdog’s decision. “CCI’s decision is a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses, opening serious security risks for Indians and raising the cost of mobile devices for Indians,” it said.
The trio had followed up the issues related to Google in Europe. The European Commission, the EU’s competition watchdog, had, in July 2018, imposed a whopping 4.34 billion Euros fine on Google for violating EU antitrust rules.
While Android had a major market share in the Indian mobile market, the Indian consumers are generally unaware of the manipulations in the digital marketing field and tend to ignore such issues.

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