Friday, February 3, 2023

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Google to pay Rs 1,337 crore penalty for abusing its dominant position

Fine on Google: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has ordered Google to deposit 10% of the total fine of Rs 1,337.76 crore issued by India’s antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) for anti-competitive behaviour, according to news agency PTI. The fine has been imposed for “abusing its dominant position in numerous regions within the Android mobile device ecosystem.

As punishment for allegedly “abusing” its dominating position in a number of Android markets, CCI has also imposed non-monetary restrictions on Google. The IT behemoth was also told to “change its conduct”.

Now, in addition to paying 10% of the entire sum, Google will also be required to follow CCI’s instructions for a number of actions. For instance, it might not be possible to pre-install Google programmes (apps) on Android phones.

On Tuesday, Google claimed that CCI had taken portions of a previous decision against the tech company from the European Commission.

According to Reuters, “Google was concerned about the Indian judgement as the remedies ordered were considered as more extensive than the landmark 2018 European Commission ruling for imposing unlawful limitations on Android mobile device makers.” More than 50 instances of “copypasting,” some “word-for-word” in the order, were cited.

Google added that these agreements help keep the operating system open and that Android has expanded the options available to everyone. According to Counterpoint Research, 75% of the 550 million smartphones in Europe run on Android, compared to 97% of the 600 million smartphones in India.

Google licences its Android operating system to manufacturers of smartphones, but some claim that this results in anti-competitive limitations.

India fines Google Rs. 1337 crore: Important factors

  • Google referred to the decision to penalise it for alleged anti-competitive actions as “a huge setback for Indian consumers and businesses.”
  • The Google corporation declared that it would reconsider the choice before deciding how to proceed.
  • Google oversees and manages the Android OS, in addition to issuing licences for its other proprietary software. OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) use this OS and Google’s apps in their mobile devices.
  • On smart mobile devices, an operating system (OS) is necessary for the operation of programmes and applications. Android is one of these mobile operating systems that Google bought in 2005.

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