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First EU, now India fines Google for abusing Android dominance
- India’s competition watchdog has fined Google ~$162 million for anticompetitive Android practices.
- The commission said Google must stop forcing OEMs to pre-install apps.
- It also said Google should allow users to choose their search engine upon startup.
The European Union fined Google a massive ~$4.3 billion back in 2018 over anticompetitive Android practices. Now, India’s competition watchdog has fined Google ~$162 million for the same violations.
The Competition Commission of India announced the fine in a press release (h/t: TechCrunch), saying that Google abused its dominance in several areas within the Android ecosystem.
India’s watchdog took issue with multiple agreements Google had with OEMs, such as the mobile app distribution agreement (MADA), anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA), Android compatibility commitment agreement (ACCA), and revenue sharing agreement (RSA).
MADA ensures that the likes of Google Search, Chrome, and YouTube were pre-installed on handsets. The AFA and ACCA barred manufacturers from creating their own Android fork. Meanwhile, revenue sharing agreements saw Google paying OEMs for search exclusivity.
Changes incoming for Indian market?
In addition to the ~$162 million fine, the commission outlined numerous measures Google needs to take. This includes barring Google from forcing OEMs to pre-install their apps, and barring the company from denying access to the Play Services API. In outlining the latter, the commission said this would help ensure app compatibility between Google’s take on Android and Android forks.
Speaking of Android forks, the watchdog’s measures also note that OEMs should be allowed to make devices based on forked versions of Android, and that Google shouldn’t incentivize OEMs for not selling these devices.
Finally, the commission called on Google to allow users to choose their default search engine upon setup. This measure in particular should be familiar, as Google was forced to implement this option by the EU.