The Indian Competition Commission (ICC) reportedly determined that Google had used Android’s dominance in the smartphone market to prevent competitors from using their own versions of the operating system on their devices.
CCI found that Google was limiting “the ability and incentive of device makers to develop and sell devices running on alternative versions of Android,” according to Reuters, which obtained a copy of the as yet unpublished report.
Android powers 98% of Indian smartphones, Reuters said, but that’s not what led CCI to conclude that Google had violated antitrust laws. The problem is that Google has reportedly asked manufacturers to preinstall its apps on their devices.
Google offers the basic Android experience through the Android Open Source Project, which manufacturers are free to modify, but they must enter into a license agreement with Google if they want to offer access to the Google Play Marketplace.
The Google Play Store is by far the most popular app distribution platform on Android; many people expect to be able to enter the market when they buy an Android brand phone. But it is licensed as part of the Google Mobile Services package which includes Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps, and other services operated by Google.
CCI would not be the first regulator to complain about this arrangement. South Korea recently fined Google $ 176.64 million for the issue, and U.S. prosecutors have also accused the company of violating antitrust laws.
Google did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but the company told Reuters it wanted to “demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less”, to CCI in order to mitigate the concerns of the regulator.