Google continually faces a lot of legal issues in various territories but it wasn’t until the case in Europe that they received a hefty fine for antitrust violations. It looks like a watchdog in India is also mulling filing charges against the tech giant for its unfair practices and is now currently conducting an investigation. The Competition Commission of India has reportedly found merit in the complaint and is preparing for a “full probe”, buoyed by the European Union precedent.
According to Reuters, the CCI started looking into the complaint filed by yet unnamed individuals or groups that Google has been violating antitrust policies, similar to what they were accused of in Europe. That particular case resulted in a 4.34 billion euro fine and forced Google to change some of their policies when it comes to letting Android device manufacturers and users have options aside from Google’s own software and apps.
While the details of the case in India is still unknown at this time, sources are saying that it is very much similar to what happened in Europe. Google was accused of forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and the Chrome browser on their smartphones, giving it an unfair advantage over its competitors. After the EU case, Google says users in Europe will be able to choose rival browsers and search engines, which doesn’t really address the pre-installation issues.
A spokesperson for Google in India says that they will be working with the CCI “to demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less”. They also emphasized that Android has made mobile devices more affordable and thus has helped millions of Indians to “connect to the Internet”.
99% of smartphones in India that were sold this year are actually on the Android platform, making it a force to reckon with. It’s possible that despite the previous EU ruling, the CCI can clear Google on these charges. Or if they rule the other way, then Google will face a huge fine, although the number right now is still unknown.