The Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) investigative arm has implicated Google in anti-competitive and restrictive trading in the smartphone operating system and associated sectors.
The report added the panel has also accused the US-based search giant of creating dominance in the market by “imposing and forcing one-sided contracts on devices as well as app makers to ensure that its own products and apps maintain primacy in consumer usage, and come pre-installed and as default options to get the highest user preference.”
The 750-page probe report, which was reviewed exclusively by the Times of India, has been submitted to the CCI for review, and if found guilty, Google might face sanctions or be forced to stop activities that hinder the competition and are anti-consumer, the report said.
The CCI investigation revealed that Google’s core business, search engines, had been foreclosing competition in Android, with the google search bar widget being put on device home screens by default and the Google’s Chrome Web browser in its application folder. The investigation states, “competing general search services cannot counterbalance the competitive advantage that Google guarantees for itself through pre-installation, therefore functioning as an entry barrier for competitors.”
According to the report, Google’s strong market position in India via the android operating system enabled the corporation to further consolidate the search industry as it accesses vast amounts of user data that sharpens its results.
Similar investigations have been conducted in the United States, the EU, Japan, and Germany, the report stated.
Similarly, in June 2020, the antitrust watchdog began investigating accusations that Google engages in anticompetitive behaviour by imposing hurdles for businesses wishing to utilise or build customised versions of Android for smart TVs, such as Amazon Fire TV’s os.