India says Google abused Android dominance
Google has stifled competition and prevented the development of Android competitors in India, the country’s antitrust regulator ruled in a report seen by Reuters. In 2019, India’s Competition Commission opened an investigation into whether Google abused Android’s dominance in the market where devices powered by the operating system are prevalent. In its report on the findings of the investigation, the regulator wrote that Google had shown “huge financial muscle” to reduce the ability of manufacturers to develop and sell devices running Android forks.
In addition, the commission said that Google forcing manufacturers to preinstall Android apps is an unfair condition to be made in exchange for access to its mobile operating system. This violates Indian competition laws, the report says. The regulator also found the Play Store’s policies to be “one-sided, ambiguous, vague, biased and arbitrary.” In a press release sent to Reuters, Google said it was eager to work with ICC to “show how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”
The tech giant has reportedly responded to the survey 24 times in self-defense, and other tech companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi, have also answered questions from the commission. While the ICC has always ruled that Google is illegally stifling competition in the country, the company will have another chance to defend itself before the ICC makes its final decision along with sanctions, if any.
Just a few days ago, South Korean regulators also ruled that Google was using its dominant position in the market to hamper the development of its Android competitors. They slapped the tech giant with a fine of $ 177 million. They also banned the company from requiring manufacturing partners to sign anti-fragmentation agreements, which prohibit the creation and installation of alternate versions of the Android operating system.