For abusing its dominant position regarding Play Store policy, Google was fined Rs 936.44 crore for the second time in less than a week by the Commission of India (CCI) on Tuesday, taking the total fine to Rs 2,274 crore. And the tech giant was ordered. Stop indulging in unfair business practices.
Following another antitrust investigation this month, the US tech firm was found guilty on Tuesday of abusing its dominant market position to promote its payments app and in-app payment system, according to the CCI.
CCI tweeted that it fined Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to its Play Store policies.
Case No. 07 of 2020, 14 of 2021 and 35 of 2021
CCI imposed a monetary penalty of ₹936.44 crore on Google for its anti-competitive practices in relation to its Play Store policies.
Read the full order here: https://t.co/GDR820ffYg
Press release: https://t.co/7HEPJeHVK3#Betrayalpic.twitter.com/TbTa6vbCXl
— CCI (@CCI_India) 25 October 2022
This comes after Google was fined Rs 1,337.76 crore on Thursday last week for anti-competitive practices related to Android.
App Stores are required for developers to distribute their apps to end users, and App Store availability is directly related to the operating system (OS) present on the smart device.
By understanding the market dynamics for mobile operating systems available for license in India, Google’s Android OS has successfully leveraged indirect network effects.
The CCI said the primary software distribution channel of the Android mobile ecosystem is Google’s Play Store, which enables its owners to benefit from apps released in the market.
Exclusively use Google Play’s billing system (GPBS) to allow app developers to accept payment for apps and certain in-app purchases distributed or sold through the Google Play Store, in accordance with Google’s Play Store policies needed.
Additionally, app developers may not include words that encourage users to purchase digital items outside the app or include a direct link within the app to a website that accepts an alternative payment method , which is called the anti-steering provision.
According to its assessment, the Indian watchdog concluded that Google dominates the Indian markets for Android Smart Mobile OS and App Store for licensable OS for smart mobile devices, forcing app developers to use GPBS is unfair. And it was arbitrary.
The vast pool of potential customers using Android will be lost if app developers don’t go by Google’s policy of using GPBS and are not allowed to advertise their apps on the Play Store, which the CCI said is a requirement of GPBS. There is no real economic reason for the need. Access to access the Play Store for premium apps and in-app purchases.
The watchdog said the option to choose the preferred payment processor from the open market has been taken away from app creators.
Google has yet to comment on the latest penalty.
After the CCI fined last week, on Friday, Google said the fine was “a major blow to Indian consumers and businesses” and that the firm would review the decision to evaluate next steps.