Indian Govt to Take Action Against Google Over Antitrust Breaches

Indian Govt to Take Action Against Google Over Antitrust Breaches
22.05.2023 507

Findings on antitrust breaches are "serious" and cause "deep concern" to the Indian government, which will take its own action against Google, said Mos IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The Centre is mulling action against Alphabet Inc’s Google for indulging in anti-competitive practices by abusing its market position, news agency Reuters said in a report.

MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Reuters in an interview that Google’s violation of anti-trust rules “is worrisome, not just for us, it’s worrisome for the entire digital ecosystem in India”.

In October 2022, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google $275 million (Rs 1,338 crore) in two cases, which involved abusing its dominant position in the Android operating system market, and pushing developers to use its in-app payment system. At the time, the competition watchdog said that Google’s business was found to be driven by the "ultimate intent of increasing users on its platforms".

Such findings are "serious" and cause "deep concern" to the Indian government, which will take its own action against Google, said Chandrasekhar.

“The ministry has to take action. We have thought through it. You will see it in the coming weeks. Certainly it’s not something that we will leave and push under the carpet,”

Chandrasekhar said

The minister declined to specify what sort of policy or regulatory action the government could take, the report added.

While the payments case is still under appeal, an Indian tribunal in March said in response to a legal challenge that CCI’s findings of Google's anti-competitive conduct in the Android market were correct.

Following the Android antitrust order in India, Google was also forced make sweeping changes to how it markets its mobile operating system in the country, even though it warned “no other jurisdiction has ever asked for such far-reaching changes”.

Meanwhile, India’s competition watchdog has begun another inquiry into Google after Tinder owner Match Group and many startups alleged that a new service fee system Google uses for in-app payments breaches the competition commission’s October decision.

Google is facing the heat over its business practices elsewhere too. The European Commission had earlier fined the tech giant €2.42 billion for breaching anti-trust rules by abusing its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.

In the US, nine states have joined a Department of Justice lawsuit against Google which alleges the search and advertising company broke anti-trust law in running its digital advertising business, reported Reuters.

Source: Reuters

digital markets  India 

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