The Google company was fined Rs. 1,338 crores by the CCI for its misbehavior in the Android ecosystem and another Rs. 936 crores by the CCI for violating its Play Store Policies. India’s economy is comparatively open. Most of the time, “trade” is unhindered and the government seldom gets involved. But not everyone acts fairly in a market this large and diversified. Sometimes they purposefully break the law. In other cases, they completely dominate the market and gain a lot of power. Both competitors and customers are impacted by this hegemony. Consumers must make do with a small selection and struggling new players.
Because of this, India has a competition commission (CCI). The CCI lives by the simple maxim that the customer is king. And it is the commission’s responsibility to ensure that everyone in the market follows this simple rule. Additionally, they ensure that no player has an unfair advantage in terms of regulating the flow of products and services, manipulating pricing, or limiting the expansion of other competitors.
The CCI is pursuing e-commerce marketplaces that force suppliers to sell below cost on their platform. The CCI will contact you if you are a large cement maker who is conspiring with other suppliers to limit supply and raise prices. You cannot do so unless the CCI approves the agreement if you want to purchase another significant firm of size and status. In conclusion, the CCI combats unfair business practices and monopolistic tendencies to ensure that customers don’t suffer from excessive costs, a lack of alternatives, or subpar products.
For its Play Store regulations, CCI fined Google 936.44 crore for the second time in a week.
In its second such fine against the internet giant in a week, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) levied a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google on Tuesday for “abusing its dominant position in its Play Store policies”. Additionally, the CCI issued a cease-and-desist order, requiring Google to change its behavior within three months. On October 20, the antitrust watchdog fined Google Rs. 1,337.76 crores for abusing its dominant position in several areas within the Android mobile ecosystem.
The regulator noted that Google’s control over the Play Store, the key gateway connecting app developers and users, gives it the power to impose terms on app developers and compel them to use its payment system. The Google Play Store is by far the largest app marketplace, connecting app developers with users on the Android ecosystem, the regulator said.
Android is used by almost 95% of all smartphones in India. Additionally, Android is an open-source operating system. In other words, since the design is available to the public, developers can edit and distribute it. However, you would need to collaborate with phone makers like Samsung and Xiaomi if you wanted to make your version widely used. However, this is impossible because Google imposes limitations that prohibit manufacturers from engaging in excessive experimentation.
For instance, a manufacturer had to use Google’s version of Android if they wanted to access the company’s exclusive apps (like Google Maps). Additionally, they had to support the Chrome browser, the Google search widget, and a whole suite of programs without allowing customers to delete them.
Making access to the Play Store contingent on being required to use the GPBS (Google Play Billing System) for in-app purchases and premium apps is illogical, arbitrary, and serves no valid economic purpose. The regulator stated in its order that “app developers are left without the natural option to choose the payment processor of their choice from the open market,” and that “during the investigation, it was found that Google is engaging in discriminatory practices by not using GPBS for its applications, i.e., YouTube.”
According to current standards, Google mandates that application developers use GPBS exclusively for payment processing for both apps distributed through the Google Play Store as well as for some transactions made by users of apps after they have downloaded them. Additionally, app developers are not allowed to use wording that entices users to buy a digital good outside of the app or give users a direct link inside an app to a website that accepts an alternate payment method.
The CCI stated that app developers would miss out on a sizable market of prospective consumers in the shape of Android users if they did not abide by Google’s policy of utilizing GPBS and were not allowed to advertise their apps on the Play Store.
Third-party billing services
The CCI has ordered Google to establish clear and transparent policies regarding data collection on its platform, use of such data by the platform, and potential and actual sharing of such data with app developers or other entities. It has also directed Google to permit app developers to use any third-party billing services.
However, CCI has, in the interest of justice, calculated the preliminary monetary penalties based on the data supplied by Google, while pointing out that there were “glaring anomalies” and extensive disclaimers in the presentation of key income data points by Google. Accordingly, the CCI fined Google for breaking Section 4 of the Act at a rate of 7% of its average relevant turnover, or $936.44 crore, on a provisional basis. The statement said Google has been given 30 days to produce the necessary financial information and accompanying documentation.
What Google Said After Paying an Indian Fine of 936 Crore
Following the second penalty assessed by India’s competition watchdog, Google declared on Wednesday that it remained dedicated to its users and developers and that the company’s business model had “powered India’s digital transformation and expanded access for hundreds of millions of Indians,” according to a tweet from ANI. For abusing its dominant position regarding Play Store policy, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google 936.44 crore for the second time in less than a week on Tuesday, bringing the total penalty to 2,274 cores. The CCI also ordered the tech giant to stop using unfair business practices.
According to a tweet from ANI, a Google official responded on Wednesday by stating that the company “remains dedicated to our users and developers and is analyzing the decision to determine the next steps.” The spokesman for Google continued, “Indian developers have benefitted from Android’s and Google Play’s cutting-edge technology, security, consumer safeguards, unparalleled choice, and freedom.” Our methodology enabled India’s digital revolution and increased access for hundreds of millions of Indians while keeping costs low. “
The CCI fined Google Rs. 1,337 crores last Friday for “abusing its dominant position in numerous marketplaces in the Android mobile device ecosystem.” Similar to its most recent statement, Google responded by saying that the decision to punish it for suspected anti-competitive conduct was “a huge setback for Indian consumers and companies” and that it would analyze the verdict to determine its next course of action.
“Android has increased options for everyone and supported thousands of globally and in India, profitable enterprises. The CCI’s ruling is a significant setback for Indian consumers and businesses since it exposes those who rely on Android’s security measures to substantial security threats and drives up the price of mobile devices for Indians. To determine the following measures, we will study the decision made on Friday, a Google representative stated.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma