The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a $113 million fine on American tech giant Google, for what it termed as abuse of its dominant position in the market that has suppressed competition.
The competition watchdog opened investigations into Google’s conduct in late 2020 and has since found the company to be in contravention of various provisions of the nation’s policies. The regulator gathered its data from interviews conducted with several players such as Paytm, Zomato, Info Edge, Samsung, Vivo, Xiaomi, Microsoft and Realme.
In particular, the Commission noted that by limiting the use of payments through third parties, Google imposed an “unfair condition, thus violating provisions of the 4(2)(a)(i) of the Act.
“The practices followed by Google results in leveraging its dominance in the market for licensable mobile OS and app stores for Android OS, to protect its position in the downstream markets, in violation of the provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act. “ The Commission said in a statement.
India is one of Google’s largest markets, reaching nearly 600 million internet users. The company has invested heavily in the entire South Asian market as it seeks to leverage untapped potential.
The watchdog now wants Google to institute a number of changes to its Play Store policies, such as allowing developers to use third-party billing systems.
“Google shall not restrict end users, in any manner, to access and use within apps, the features and services offered by app developers.”
“The Commission hereby directs Google to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive practices,” CCI said in a statement Tuesday.