Google: CCI order to stall Android growth in India

Google’s Android operating system powers a huge number of smartphones in India. In October 2022, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) penalised the tech giant $161 million for misusing its dominant position in the Android ecosystem. Google has now warned that the growth of the Android ecosystem may be jeopardised due to the antitrust order. The order asks the company to change how it markets the platform in India. According to a report by Reuters, Google issued this warning during its Supreme Court challenge. CCI even asked the Alphabet Inc-owned company to change restrictions imposed on smartphone makers related to pre-installing apps.
How the CCI decision will affect Google’s business
The US-based tech giant earlier claimed that CCI’s decision will force it to change its “long-standing business model.” However, the company, in its Supreme Court filing has explained how this decision will impact Google and has also detailed the changes that are needed to comply with CCI’s order.
Google claims that it has to alter its existing contracts, introduce new license agreements and even modify its existing arrangements with more than 1,100 device manufacturers and thousands of app developers. The company’s filing also mentioned that Google will have to make some major changes to the Android mobile platform “which has been in place for the last 14-15 years.”

In 2018, the European Commission also fined Google for imposing unlawful restrictions on Android mobile device makers. The European regulatory body penalised Google with a $4.3 billion fine which was later challenged by the company. Google has claimed that CCI’s decision is harsher as the remedies ordered by the Indian body are thought to be “more sweeping.”
How Google allegedly imposes restrictions on users, smartphone makers
Critics have reported that Google imposes restrictions like mandatory pre-installation of its apps (that are anti-competitive) while licensing its Android operating system. Meanwhile, the company explained that such agreements help in keeping Android free.
In October 2022, CCI ordered Google to allow Android users to uninstall first-party apps. However, users are still unable to delete apps like Google Maps or YouTube (which comes pre-installed with the device) from their Android phones.
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