Google has been fined Rs 1,338 by India’s anti-trust watchdog for allegedly abusing its commanding position in the local smartphone market. Google said the move was “a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses.” It will evaluate next steps.
Here’s your 5-point cheatsheet to this big story:
The Competition Commission of India, or CCI, said Google’s operating system Android was configured to unlawfully crowd out rivals to YouTube, web browser Chrome and other popular Google apps.
Android has a suite of Google apps pre-installed on its phones, including the company’s own search engine, “which accorded significant competitive edge to Google’s search services over its competitors”, the CCI said in a statement yesterday.
“The competitors of these services could never avail the same level of market access which Google secured and embedded for itself through MADA,” the CCI said, referring to agreements with smartphone makers that would encourage them to only sell Android-based devices or exclusively use its software.
“…Google’s business was found to be driven by the ultimate intent of increasing users on its platforms so that they interact with its revenue earning service i.e., online search which directly affects sale of online advertising services by Google,” the CCI said on Google’s concerns over competitive constraints being faced from Apple Inc.
The CCI said the differences in the two business models (Google and Apple) that affect the underlying incentives of business decisions are that Apple’s business is primarily based on a vertically integrated smart device ecosystem, which focuses on sale of high-end smart devices with advanced software components.