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Google CCI

Did Google abuse Android?: CCI looks into accusations against search giant

Google CCI

After being fined for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen its dominance by the European Commission, search engine giant Google is being investigated by Indian antitrust commission in a similar case.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is looking into accusations that the search engine abuses its Android mobile operating system to block its rivals, said Reuters report that quoted sources familiar with the development.

The commission for the past six months looking into the similar case and as per the sources, it’s at an initial stage. The complaint was filed by a group of individuals.

To discuss the allegations, Google executives recently have met with Indian antitrust officials. Meanwhile, CCI is yet to comment on the development.

Earlier, in July last year, Google was slapped with $5 billion fine by EU regulators for breaking antitrust laws.

It is said to have used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine, as most of its revenue comes from search engine. In the mid-2000s, Google developed an original developer of the Android mobile operating system to ensure that it continues to dominate mobile internet as it did with desktop PCs. Globally, about over 80 percent of smart mobile devices run on Android today.

The European Commission noted that the search giant has abused its Android market dominance in multiple ways. Google has packaged its search engine and Chrome apps into the operating system. It blocked phone makers from creating devices that run forked versions of Android, and it made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators to exclusively bundle the Google search app on handsets.

According to competition in charge in Antitrust case, Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine.

These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits, he said.

Google denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation, he added.

The ruling by EU meant that the search giant have to stop pressing manufacturers to preinstall Chrome and Google search in order to offer the Google Play Store on handsets.

It will also have to stop preventing phone makers from using forked versions of Android in absence to prove that Android forks would be affected by technical failures.

This was not the first such Google cases.

Last year in February, CCI had imposed a fine of Rs 136 crore on Google for unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search.

In June 2017, it was fined over $3 billion for abusing its dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to Google’s own comparison shopping service.

In 2016, the company was also found to abuse its dominant position in a case concerning AdSense.

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