After two years of investigations, which began in 2019, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found search giant Google guilty of abusing its Android dominance to hurt competitors.
Google is being accused of using its position to gain an unfair advantage in search, music (YouTube), browser (Chrome), and app library (Play Store).
Its also being accused of imposing and forcing one-sided contracts on devices as well as app makers to ensure its own products remain a priority in consumer usage. It described these policies as “one-sided, ambiguous, vague, biased and arbitrary.”
CIC findings found Google’s requirement to make it mandatory for device makers to pre-install its apps to be against India’s competition law.
According to a report by Times of India, CCI questioned Google and phone makers including Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo. Ecommerce giant Amazon, payment providers Paytm and PhonePe, and Firefox browser’s owner Mozilla were also questions.
“Google is found to be contravening the provisions of Sectio 4(2)(a)(i); Section 4(2)(b); Section 4(2)(c); Section 4(2)(d) and Section 4(2)(e) of the Competition Act,” the report says.
This is not the first time Google is being accused of abusing Android dominance. Last week, The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined the company $177 million for abusing its market dominance in the Android operating system (OS) market.
The regulator accused Google of restricting market competition by prohibiting local smartphone makers like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics from customizing their Android OS, through Google’s anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA).
In May, it was also fined just over $123M by Italy’s antitrust watchdog for doing the same.
In July 2018, the European Union slapped Google with a record $5 billion antitrust fine for abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system.