India finds Google abusing Android monopoly


Google has abused its dominant position in the Android operating system in India, using “huge financial muscle” to illegally damage competitors.

The investigation body under the Competition Regulatory Commission of India accused Google of limiting “the ability and desire of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices that operate on alternative versions of Android”. “. Photo: AFP

The findings were made by the Investigative Body of the Competition Regulatory Commission of India (CCI) in a report on a two-year investigation, according to Reuters.

Accordingly, Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Corporation, is accused of limiting “the ability and desire of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices that operate on alternative versions of Android.” “.

Google still confirmed to Reuters in a recent statement that it looks forward to working with the Competition Authority of India to “demonstrate how Android has fostered more competition and innovation, not more innovation.” must be limited”.

The Competition Authority of India has yet to officially comment on the report. Senior members of the agency will review the report and give Google one more chance to defend itself, before making a final decision, which could include images, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. punish.

Google can appeal any decision in Indian courts.

The allegation marks a setback for Google in the Indian market, where it faces several investigations into the smart TV and payment apps markets.

However, India remains an important growth market for Google. Last year, the US technology “giant” said it would invest 10 billion USD in this market over the next 5-7 years through the form of share purchase and associated investment. This is Google’s biggest commitment to a key growth market.

Google has recently been repeatedly investigated in Europe, the US, and many other places. Most recently, the Korean Fair Trade Commission on September 14 announced it would fine the US tech giant 207.4 billion won ($176.9 million) for allegedly abusing its dominant position. mobile operating system market to “suppress” competition.

The South Korean side accused Google of taking advantage of its market position to prevent smartphone makers like Samsung from using operating systems developed by rivals. Specifically, Google is alleged to have asked smartphone manufacturers to agree to “defragmentation agreements (AFAs)” when signing significant contracts with the company for app store licenses and permissions. early access to the operating system.

The AFA agreement prevented smart device manufacturers from installing alternative versions of the Android operating system (known as an “Android fork”) on their handsets, according to Yonhap News.

The Korean Fair Trade Commission assessed that Google’s above action has inhibited innovation in developing a new operating system for smartphones. The agency asked Google to stop forcing partners to sign AFA agreements and asked the US tech giant to take remedial steps.

In June, the European Commission announced the opening of a new investigation to determine whether Google favored its online advertising technology services and violated antitrust regulations.

“Google collects data for predefined advertising purposes, which sell advertising space and also act as an online advertising intermediary,” said European Commission Executive Vice President. Margrethe Vestager said.

Previously, Google was fined $267 million by France for abusing its dominant position in the online advertising sector. The French competition watchdog concluded that Google engaged in unfair and discriminatory services. for opponents. The agency said Google has agreed to pay the fine and stop some of its favoritism activities.