Google may fork out billions of rupees in fine in next anti-trust case in India
Google is again under the scanner of the Indian regulators for its likely unfair practices to maintain a dominant position over its rivals in the country. This time, though, the search giant may be fined in billions if it’s held guilty of antitrust violations for the second time. Last time, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had fined Google Rs 1.36 billion after holding it guilty of search bias and favoring own businesses. CCI has now opened a probe again against the tech giant for a probable antitrust violation in the country. It will not only investigate Google search for violations but also its entire Android operating system. According to a media report on Tuesday, CCI is expected to look into whether the tech giant has been blocking rivals from its mobile operating system in the country.
If found guilty, Google may have to fork out billions of rupees in fines, particularly after the European Union (EU) set a new high bar for damages in such a recent case. The EU regulators had last year ordered Google to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine on a complaint of antitrust violation in the region. In India, Google’s Android is the most popular among other operating systems, which gives it a dominant lead in the market and increases its likelihood of abuse of power that violates the law.
EU regulators had found Google guilty of abuse of its dominant position in three key areas. One, it blocked competition by bundling Google Search and Chrome apps with Android. Two, it prevented manufacturers from creating a modified version of Android, despite Android being an open source code. And third, Google paid phone manufacturers and operators to install Google Search app on their respective devices. Although the tech giant has appealed the EU’s decision, the high regulatory standards set by the European regulators could spell bad news for Google in India.