Alphabet Inc’s Google was fined $113.04 million or ₹936 crore on Tuesday as India completed another antitrust investigation this month. The investigation found Google guilty of abusing its market position in the Play Store to promote its payment app and in-app payment system. India has also ordered the company to stop unfair trade practices.
“The Commission hereby instructs Google to stop engaging in anti-competitive practices,” the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in a statement on Tuesday. It said Google should not prohibit app developers from using third-party billing or payment processing services, either for in-app purchases or for buying apps.
This is the second antitrust fine by India this month on Google. A few days ago on Thursday, Google was fined $162 million or ₹1,337.76 crore by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for anti-competitive practices related to Android.
Google was fined after an investigation revealed that the tech giant was abusing its leadership position in the local smartphone market. The California-based company’s Android mobile operating system is by far the dominant player in India, running on 95 percent of all smartphones in the country, according to research firm Counterpoint.
An investigation determined that “Google has perpetuated its dominant position in the online search market, leading to the denial of market access for competing search apps in violation of Section 4(2)(c) of the Act. Google has used its dominant position in the Play Store to protect its dominant position in online general search in violation of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act.”
The probe stated that Google “abused” its dominant position by linking the Google Chrome app to the Play Store, in violation of the provisions of Section 4(2)(e) of the Act.
“Google has abused its dominant position by linking the YouTube app to the Play Store, thereby violating the provisions of Article 4(2)(e) of the Act,” it said.
According to Counterpoint Research, Google’s Android operating system powers 97% of India’s 600 million smartphones.
(With input from the agency)
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