Another Major Blow for Google in India. CCI fines $113 million for violating play store policies in the local market. This is the consecutive incident happening against Google in the last few days.
One week after being smacked with an even larger punishment for abusing its market dominance, Google was hit with a $113 million fine for “unfair” payment methods by India’s antitrust agency on Tuesday.
According to India’s antitrust watchdog, Google exploited its dominant position in the app store market by favouring the Play Store over competitors. This has resulted in a nine-figure punishment for the tech giant. The government agency demanded that the Tech giant will pay $113.5 million and open the Play Store so developers may accept payments from credit cards and other entities.
CCI Fined Google After Below Mentioned Order
Google has averred that the DG has disregarded critical evidence submitted by it, which includes fundamental factual information underlying many of the core issues under investigation such as Play’s service fee, GPBS, collect flow and intent flow integration. Further, the DG confined itself only to consider the evidence gathered during investigation against it. Rather, the DG ought to have considered the explanations and evidence provided by Google in conducting a fair, independent, judicious and accurate investigation. it claims that the DG’s decision to ignore evidence submitted by Google has resulted in a fundamental misunderstanding of its products and their functioning which, in turn, is reflected in the DG’s faulty conclusions in the Report.
It further claims that the Investigation Report selectively relies on the responses of biased third parties that ostensibly confirm the Informants’ allegations and, at the same time, ignores the responses of other objective third parties whose evidence demonstrates that Google’s conduct is not anti competitive.
The regulator was checking to see whether Google had monopolized the smartphone operating system (OS), app store (app store), web search services (search engines), non-OS specific mobile web browsers (browsers), and online video hosting platform (OVH) in India. The government agency found that the Tech giant dominates all industries.
If the app developers do not comply with Google’s policy of using GPBS, they are not permitted to list their apps on the Play Store and thus, would lose out the vast pool of potential customers in the form of Android users. Making access to the Play Store dependent on mandatory usage of GPBS for paid apps and in-app purchases is one sided and arbitrary and devoid of any legitimate business interest.CCI Statement on Google Policy
The antitrust watchdog has said that Google should not restrict to its Play Store APIs or other financial or non-financial incentives to manufacturers so that their devices are preloaded with a suite of applications. For fear of punishment from the Tech giant, Amazon said to the regulator more than half a dozen hardware manufacturers had indicated they could not get into a TV production arrangement with the e-commerce firm.
The government has mandated that Google make the Play Store available for third-party payments within three months. The document said Tech giant should not restrict app developers from pushing their products and services to customers by imposing anti-steering rules. Also, the corporation cannot prevent customers from using the products and services of third-party programmers.
The regulator issued the penalties last week after concluding that Google had intentionally set up Android to favor its applications and discourage competition from YouTube, Chrome, and others. Furthermore, it mandated that the firm not engage in any deal with smartphone manufacturers that would incentivize them to sell solely Android-based smartphones or use its software exclusively.
It’s time for Google to take the Indian market seriously as it holds the most share of its products, including mobile and stuff. The fines not only hurt it financially, but it has to be careful about its policies in the host country.