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India fines Google Rs.1337 crore for abusing its dominant position

India fines Google Rs.1337 crore: The nation’s competition watchdog has fined Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Rs 1,337 crore for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour with regard to Android mobile devices. Google was penalised by India’s Competition Commission (CCI) for “abusing its dominant position in numerous regions within the Android mobile device ecosystem.”

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India fines Google Rs.1337 crore: Key Points

  • The decision to fine Google for alleged anti-competitive practices was described as “a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses” by Google.
  • Google company said it would review the decision to determine its next course of action.
  • The Android OS (operating system) is run and managed by Google, and the company also grants licences for its other proprietary programmes. In their mobile devices, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) employ this OS and Google’s apps.
  • An operating system (OS) is required for running programmes and applications on smart mobile devices. One of these mobile operating systems that Google purchased in 2005 is Android.
  • The panel looked at Google’s licencing policies for the Android mobile operating system and a number of its own, exclusive mobile applications, including Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, YouTube, etc.

The commission identified five relevant markets in the current case to serve this purpose. There was a market in India for licensable mobile operating systems for smart devices, an app store for Android mobile operating systems, general web search services, non-OS specific mobile web browsers, and an online video hosting platform (OVHP).

India fines Google Rs.1337 crore: Google’s Response

  • Google complained about the Apple-related competitive pressures during the investigation. The contrasts in the two business models, which have an impact on the underlying motivations of business actions, were underlined by the Commission in connection to understanding the level of competition between Google’s Android environment and Apple’s iOS ecosystem.
  • The core of Apple’s business is a vertically integrated smart device ecosystem that prioritises the selling of high-end smart devices with cutting-edge software.
  • However, it was discovered that Google’s business is ultimately motivated by the need to attract more people to its platforms so that they can interact with its revenue-generating service, online search, which has a direct impact on the company’s ability to sell online advertising services.
  • The commission determined that there is no substitutability between Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store after looking at it from the perspectives of all three demand components for the Android OS and iOS platforms.
  • The commission also stated that although there may be some competition between the two mobile ecosystems, namely Apple and Android, it is limited when determining which smartphone to purchase.

The Commission was of the considered opinion at that time as well that the hardware specifications and pricing of the gadget were the main and most important factors in a user’s decision. Google was determined by the Commission to be dominant based on its evaluation.

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