The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined Google a preliminary amount of Rs 1,337.76 crore ($162 million) for “abusing its dominant position” in a number of segments of the Indian market for Android mobile devices. According to the anti-trust watchdog, Google abused its dominant position when it licensed its mobile operating system, the Android app market, general web search services, non-operating system-specific mobile web browsers, and online video hosting services.
The tech giant has received cease and desist orders from the ICC over some of its business activities. For instance, it stated that Google shouldn’t bar “disadvantaged” original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from using its Play Services plugins and that licensing the Play Store to OEMs shouldn’t be contingent on them pre-installing Google search, Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, or any other Google app.
According to the CCI, Google will have to let consumers select their preferred search engine at the first setup of a gadget. It requested that Google refrain from limiting app developers’ ability to distribute their products through side-loading or making them available outside of the Google Play Store. This is crucial since Google has long advised users against side-loading programs and described it as being a security risk. Google has been given 30 days by the CCI to submit the required financial information and accompanying documentation, or else a higher penalty may be assessed.
In India, Google is being sued in several antitrust proceedings. The watchdog for fair trade is also investigating Google’s business practices in the market for smart TVs and its in-app payment mechanism. Following concerns from users of Android-based devices in 2019, the CCI commissioned a thorough investigation. OEMs of smartphones and tablets install the open-source mobile operating system Android.
Because Google controls the Android operating system and other licenses, it has an advantage over its rivals in that it can pre-install the Chrome browser and other popular search entry points like search applications and widgets on Android devices. Furthermore, Google had a significant competitive advantage over its other revenue-generating apps for Android smartphones, such as YouTube.
According to CCI’s order, “the competitors of these services could never obtain the same level of market access that Google secured and embedded for itself through MADA (Mobile Application Distribution Agreement) Network effects, coupled with status quo bias, creating significant barriers to entry for Google’s competitors to enter or operate in the relevant markets.
After a report detailing CCI’s preliminary conclusions against Google was leaked in September 2021, the business filed a lawsuit against the watchdog. The tech juggernaut has now received a fine from the CCI twice. In 2018, it fined Google Rs 136 crore for engaging in unfair commercial practices in the Indian internet search sector.
In comparison to fines levied on Google in other jurisdictions, the CCI’s penalty for the company is far smaller.The European Commission fined Google 2.42 billion euros in 2017 for violating antitrust laws in the EU after discovering that the corporation had unfairly benefited its comparison shopping business by abusing its market dominance as a search engine. The General Court of the European Court of Justice mostly upheld the EU executive commission’s 2018 decision to punish Google for more than 4 billion euros ($3.99 billion) this year.
The Indian Competition Commission
It is a statutory entity established in accordance with the Competition Act of 2002 with the duty to promote honest and healthy competition in the country’s economic activities. Its responsibility is to act as an antitrust watchdog and ensure that no company is abusing its position of market dominance. Support the free market system and watch out for market leaders abusing their power. promoting homegrown manufacturing and establishing a regulatory framework to control business activities
This quasi-judicial body consists of a chairperson and six other members. Each one of them will be decided by the federal government. For the position of Chairperson, aptitude, integrity, and standing are necessary, as well as specialized knowledge and at least fifteen years of professional experience in any of the following fields: international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accounting, management, industry, public affairs, administration, or in any other area. Additionally, candidates must have held judicial positions at the High Court or be qualified to do so.
Removing tactics that hurt competitiveness is a good idea. protecting consumer interests and making sure their well-being is not jeopardized. Advocate for competition, educate the public and provide training on the subject. Ensure that sectorial regulatory rules and competition laws are in perfect agreement. makes certain that foreign businesses follow the nation’s competition rules.
It ensures that no company will misuse its “dominant position” by controlling supply, manipulating purchasing prices, or implementing strategies that prevent other rival companies from accessing the market. Please be aware that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), established by the 2013 Companies Act, hears appeals from CCI.
In comparison to its predecessor established under the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act of 1969, the CCI has performed rather well. The cartelization of the cement industry has been ended, the BCCI has been fined for misusing its dominant position, Google is the subject of an antitrust probe, and the cartelization of the telecom sector has also been prevented. It has done a number of actions to educate the public about issues relating to competition and has also taken part in campaigning for competition. It has made sure that everyone is actively participating, including customers, businesses, the government, and other countries.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma