Google: India fines tech giant $113m for abuse of market dominance
India, after China, has the second-highest number of smartphone users in the world.
The Competition Commission of India fined Google $113 million for abusing its dominant position in the Play Store app market.
India fined Google $162.2 million last week for abusing its dominant position in several markets within the Android mobile device ecosystem.
In a statement, the Commission said, "the Competition Commission of India today imposed a penalty of Rs. 936.44 crore [$113.6 million] on Google for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies, apart from issuing a cease-and-desist order. The Commission also directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline."
According to the Indian regulator, the Play Store is the largest app marketplace in the Android ecosystem, and Google's control over it allows it to dictate terms to app developers and force them to use its own payment system.
It discovered that Google was requiring app developers to use Google Play's Billing System exclusively and mandatorily, not only to receive payments for apps distributed through the Google Play Store, but also for certain purchases made by users after installing the app, depriving developers of the right to choose their own payment system.
App developers are also unable to provide users within the app with a direct link to a web page containing an alternative payment method or encourage users to purchase a digital good outside of the app, according to the statement.
The Commission has ordered Google to allow app developers to use third-party billing services and to establish a clear and transparent policy for data collected on the company's platform.
Google utilizing Android to consolidate dominance
India, after China, has the second-highest number of smartphone users in the world. The country's smartphone market grew 27% in 2021 compared to the year before, according to Counterpoint. Sales in India exceeded 169 million.
In September, Europe's top court agreed with EU antitrust regulators that the company had exploited its Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals. The court, however, reduced Google's fine by 5% due to a dispute on one of the points.
Last year, Google lost its lawsuit to a 2.42 billion euro ($2.42 billion) fine, the first of three legal cases.
To maintain a fair playing field across the EU, the European Commission's competition chief has slapped heavy fines on Big Tech.
In its 2018 judgment, the Commission stated that Google utilized Android to consolidate its dominance in general internet search through payments to significant manufacturers and mobile network operators, as well as restrictions.