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INDIA INVESTIGATING GOOGLE FOR ABUSING ANDROID OS MONOPOLY

Google's logo on a building

Google is so popular that it has become a verb from a noun. One says ‘you can google it’ to actually mean ‘you can search it’. Therefore, it is evident that Google has already monopolized the search engine market. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is investigating a case against the search engine giant to see whether it abused its dominant position in the market or not. A complaint has been filed with the CCI but the identities of the complainants have not been revealed for their safety smooth proceedings.

The woes of Google doesn’t seem to end as numerous anti-trust cases have been filed against it. Europe has been very strict after the introduction of GDPR a couple of years ago. The European authorities imposed a fine of $5 billion on the American tech giant. This would make the case a lot easier for complainants in front of the CCI. The CCI has been monitoring the case for the past 6 months.

Android controls over 90% of the smartphone market in India presently. Moreover, according to Counterpoint research, 98% of the total smartphones sold in 2018 were Android-based clearly depicting the monopoly in the Indian market. This was the reason behind the complaint being filed against the company.

Tech Crunch’s report suggests that Google is pushing its services and products against its competitors and abusing its dominant position in the Indian market. It was also found that Google compels smartphone manufacturers to prebundle their applications with their smartphones. This was proved in the case and since then, in Europe, it has been forced to give more options to the users in terms of browser, app store and so on.

A couple of years ago, Google was under the scanner in India for its search bias. The court ruled against the tech giant and it had to pay a fine of $19 million. This previous case and the successful allegation against the company in Europe take the case away from the hands of Google.

One more point in favour of the complaint that the revenue and profits of Google are on a steep rise in India. The TOI reported that Google India’s revenues increased by a whopping 30% in 2018. This is more than double what it earned just 3 years ago. The revenue was around Rupees 9337.7 crores and the profits were Rupees 407.2 crores.

The major tech companies are often in the news for all the good things. These news are due to some products or services launch or for a major acquisition or their valuation crossing some mind-boggling numbers. However, what rarely makes the news are the ones such as the cases against them. Google has been helping people in making their lives simpler with its innovative and advanced products. However, one should not blindly follow these big corporates into their ill deeds as well.

Google has now promised to work with the CCI to demonstrate their services in the country that has actually benefitted the Indian market, unlike the allegations. Only time will tell.

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