Google said the Indian antitrust watchdog’s decision to fine it 13.38 billion Indian rupees (USD 161.95 million) for anticompetitive practices was a “major setback” for consumers and businesses.
According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Google used its dominant position in mobile Web browsers and online video hosting to protect its apps like Chrome and YouTube in markets such as online search and app stores for Android.
Additionally, the CCI requested that Google change its approach to its Android platform and restrict revenue-sharing agreements with smartphone manufacturers.
According to Reuters, “Android offers more choice to everyone, and supports thousands of successful businesses globally.”
The CCI’s decision poses serious security risks to Indian consumers and businesses, and raises the cost of mobile devices for Indians.
In order to evaluate the next steps, Google will review the decision.
In India, the company is facing antitrust cases and tightening regulations in the tech sector. Separate investigations are underway by the competition watchdog into Google’s conduct in the smart TV market and its in-app payments service.
Two junior Indian antitrust research associates and a law school student filed a complaint in 2019 about the Android probe. In Europe, Google was fined $5 billion for forcing manufacturers to preinstall its apps on Android devices, similar to the Indian case.
On Thursday, India ordered Google not to prevent smartphone users from uninstalling its pre-installed apps, such as Google Maps and Gmail.
While setting up a phone for the first time, CCI also asked Google to allow users to choose their search engine of choice.
According to Counterpoint Research, 97 percent of India’s 600 million smartphones run Android.