Google faces new antitrust case in India on smart TVs
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is investigating a complaint stating that Google misused its dominant market position in the smart television operating systems market.
Antitrust lawyers Kshitij Arya and Purushottam Anand filed a complaint with CCI in the first week of June - "If a TV manufacturer wants to use Google's operating system, you have to enter into agreements, which prohibit you from manufacturing any other device, be it television, phone on any connected Android-based operating systems, such as Amazon's Fire TV".
Chinese smartphone and TV maker Xiaomi and TV maker TCL has also been named as parties in the case, as they also manufacture products on the Android platform. Google did not respond to an email while Xiaomi and TCL declined to comment.
The Competition Commission of India will seek comments from Google and other parties only after starting a formal investigation. "The Competition Commission of India will have to examine three things on a prima facie basis to open an inquiry. The first is to test whether Smart TVs are a different market from regular TVs," said Abdullah Hussain, Partner, L&L Partners. "Second, Google's dominance in this market has to be examined, based on some reliable source for market share data. Finally, it has to be examined whether the complaint of exclusionary conduct is correct and whether it is likely to affect the competition in the market adversely," he said.
This is the first time Google has faced a case for dominance of AndroidTV in India. CCI fined the company ₹ 1.36 billion in 2018 for misuse of its dominance with Google search previously.
The competition commission is investigating Google in two other cases — in the smartphone market and regarding the use of its market position to promote Google Pay over other apps.