After a 2-year-long probe, the Competition Commission of India (Competition Commission of India) has released a report stating that Google leveraged their Play Store dominance and had antitrust behaviour that stifled competition in the Android smartphone space. The report, once reviewed, may result in penalties for Google and may force them to change their Play Store policies.
According to the June report, Google reduced “the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operating on alternative versions of Android,”. The CCI’s investigative unit, who prepared the report, questioned over 62 entities for during its investigation, including Microsoft, Amazon and Apple.
The report finds that the mandatory pre-installation of apps “amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers” was in violation of India’s competition law. The Play Store’s policies were also found to be “one-sided, ambiguous, vague, biased and arbitrary”.
The report has not yet resulted in any order or penalty for now. The report needs to be reviewed by Senior CCI members, and Google will also have a chance to defend itself.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said: “We look forward to working with the Competition Commission of India to demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”
Google has been fighting antitrust investigations around the globe lately, including the U.S.A., Europe and South Korea. Earlier last week, South Korea’s antitrust regulator fined Google approximately $177 million for blocking customised versions of Android.