- India is currently the latest country to be taking legal terms against Google
- Competition Commission of India penalised Google $161.9 million
- Google has been under investigation for three and a half years for compelling smartphone manufacturers to pre-install and prominently promote its entire app ecosystem.
How much of our reliance on Google’s services on our mobile devices is a matter of personal preference, and how much is the result of Google’s ability to favour its own services at the expense of competitors? One could easily get the impression that Google is continually being criticised for engaging in some nebulous monopolistic behaviour. India is the latest country to take action against Google for anticompetitive practises, with the government there issuing a large fine to the internet giant.
For the past three and a half years, regulators have been looking into Google for allegedly breaking the law by forcing smartphone manufacturers to pre-install and prominently display its complete ecosystem of apps.
This is true of the Google Play Store, YouTube, Chrome, and other Google apps that remain prevalent in part because they come preinstalled on Android devices. In order to use Google’s Play Services APIs and other benefits, OEMs shouldn’t be required to preinstall Google’s suite of apps, as the regulator claims they do.
To the tune of $161.9 million, Google has been fined by the Competition Commission of India (via TechCrunch). Google has not yet commented on how it plans to respond, telling TechCrunch only that it has not yet received the injunction.
Action from an Indian regulatory agency could have an impact on Google’s rhetoric and actions, especially if it is joined by similar responses from other countries.
The Indian market accounts for a sizable fraction of Google’s global user base. Google’s edge in the Android space has been exploited by Google to expand its own ecosystem of services, and the European Union recently upheld a €4.34 billion antitrust penalties against Google for this same reason.