India antitrust watchdog probes accusations that Google abused Android

Author: Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah, Thomas Reuters, India, Published on: 13 February 2019

"Exclusive: India antitrust watchdog probes accusations that Google abused Android - sources", 12 February 2019

India’s antitrust commission is looking into accusations that Alphabet Inc’s unit Google abuses its popular Android mobile operating system to block its rivals, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has for the past six months been reviewing a case similar to one Google faced in Europe that led to a fine of 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) by antitrust regulators last year, three of the sources said. Google has challenged that order.

The European Commission found Google had abused its market dominance since 2011 with practices such as forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser, together with its Google Play app store on Android devices...

Google declined to comment. The CCI did not respond to Reuters’ queries...

The Indian watchdog could ask its investigations unit to further investigate the accusations against Google, or throw out the complaint if it lacks merit. The watchdog’s investigations have historically taken years to complete...Last year, the Indian antitrust watchdog imposed a fine of 1.36 billion rupees ($19 million) on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position. It also found Google had put its commercial flight search function in a prominent position on the search results page. Google appealed against that order, saying the ruling could cause it "irreparable" harm and reputational loss...

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Related companies: Alphabet Google (part of Alphabet)