Google fined $162 million in India for Android dominance

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Google has come under scrutiny for its practice of requiring certain apps to be installed on Android phones, and now India is the latest country to fin Google millions of dollars.

India’s competition regulator investigated whether Google was dominant in five industries Tech Crunch highlights: licensed operating system for smartphones, app store, web search services, non-OS specific mobile web browsers and online video hosting. The regulator has since concluded that Google holds a dominant position in all of these areas, but specifically challenges Google’s practice of requiring certain apps to be pre-installed on Android phones and other requirements the company imposes on Android partners.

In A press releaseIndia’s regulator says requiring Google to install its entire suite of apps and forcing those apps to display on the home screen ‘amounts to imposing unfair terms on device makers’ . The regulator further claims that Google’s terms have “reduced the ability and incentive for device makers to develop and sell devices running alternative versions of Android.”

Google will be fined approximately $161.9 million and will be ordered to offer no inducement to smartphone makers to exclusively offer Google Search on their devices.

Accordingly, under the provisions of Section 27 of the Act, the Commission imposed a monetary penalty and a cease and desist order against Google for engaging in anti-competitive practices which were found to be contrary to provisions of section 4 of the Act

The order also states that Android OEMs in the country “shall not be limited” in choosing which apps from Google will be pre-installed on the devices and that the Play Store license should not be tied to the pre-installation of apps from Google. such as Chrome. , Gmail, YouTube and “all” other apps. In addition, the order requires that Google “not deny access” to Play services to Android forks (heavily modified versions of the operating system) and that Google cannot induce OEMs not to sell devices using a fork of Android. Finally, the order also requires that Google allow distribution of third-party app stores through the Play Store and that sideloading not be restricted “in any way.”

Although Google has yet to respond to this ruling and order, the company is expected to object to the order allowing distribution of third-party app stores through the Play Store, among many other demands of the order. .

Google, of course, has been hit with other fines and demands from regulators around the world in recent years. EU confirmed a fine of 4.1 billion euros on similar concerns while South Korea hits Google with a lesser fine about the limitation of heavy Android skins. The United States is also take antitrust action against Google, including Android and the Play Store. Google is largely challenging many decisions and, in one case, lambasted the EU for not taking similar action against Applewhich locks its iOS platform well beyond Android.

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