Google is fighting fine in India for abuse of power with Android

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Google is fighting a fine it received in India for abuse of power with its Android operating system. The fine of about 165 million euros came from CCI, the Indian competition authority.

Google says to Reuters that it is challenging the fine, arguing that CCI’s demands would place Indian users at a disadvantage and potentially drive up the price of Android phones. The company does not further explain those claims. The decision to appeal comes almost two months after the fine was imposed.

The opposition is probably not against the fine itself, but against the imposition of conditions when supplying Android. Google obliges manufacturers who want to include Google’s Play Store to also install a number of other apps and to give them a prominent place. Manufacturers go along with that, because the Play Store contains almost all the apps that users are looking for on Android phones.

The CCI further states that Google uses its “dominant position” to eliminate competitors in search, app stores, browsers and video services. The tech giant does this, for example, by prominently placing the pre-installed apps, such as YouTube and Chrome, on the home screen. Alternatives such as Firefox and Vimeo, for example, are not included as standard with new devices.

The amount is 13,377,600,000 in Indian rupees. The Indian Commission started investigating Google 3.5 years ago because the tech giant requires phone manufacturers to pre-install the entire Google Mobile Suite on devices. Previously, Google also received fines in other countries for its abuse of power around Android. For example, Google has to pay a fine of more than 4 billion euros from the European Commission. An Italian market watchdog fined Google for banning certain apps from the Google Play Store that competed with Google’s own apps. In addition, Google has been taken to court in the US for its dominance in the search engine field.

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