In an unusual move, the Indian anti-trust body could be investigating complaints that Google exploits its dominant position with its Android mobile OS and does not permit the others from using their OS. It may be recalled that Google had faced a similar charge in Europe where the company has been found guilty and made to pay a huge penalty of around $5 billion. Google is yet to pay but is fighting the penalty legally.
In India, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is the nodal body that looks into such complaints and as per this report in Reuters, CCI is looking into a specific complaint against Google or the company Alphabet Inc. that owns Google. The charge in Europe is related to Google’s insistence on all Android device makers to pre-install some of its apps like Google Search, its App Store and the Chrome browser. The Court in Europe found that Google had indeed misused its dominant position since 2011.
CCI may not have reached that far to make a conclusion or pass an order, but it is believed that there is a case against Google on the same grounds like in Europe. Reuters reports it did not get any response from either Google or CCI on this issue. Google is even understood to have held meetings with the CCI officials. The complaint has been made by a group of private individuals.
Following the case in Europe, Google tried changing some of its policies and said it may charge for the use of the Play Store and would permit the rival versions of the OS as well. But this was meant only for the areas jurisdictionally covered by the Court order.
Facing the CCI is not new for Google. It has been found guilty once and was fined an amount of $19 million. That time, the charges related to Google’s search engine. Google has appealed against this order too apparently.