India joins European Union in Android antitrust probe - Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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India investigating Google over alleged abuse of Android dominance

In comparison to Europe, Android has more dominant position in India where more than 90 percent of the smartphones sold to end consumers run Google's mobile operating system. The Competition Commission of India is reportedly looking into where Google abused its dominant position as the provider of Android mobile operating system to block rivals. It's possible that Google could enact similar policies in India, depending on the results of the investigation.

Details on the actual investigation are slim since the CCI's order for a full investigation hasn't been made public. The antitrust watchdog in the country started looking into the complaint a year ago and it is similar to the one faced by Google in Europe, where it was fined a record €4.34 billion (or $5 billion) in February.

Citing anonymous sources, Reuters said it had reported in February that the CCI had begun its probe past year.

Allegedly, the probe will take a year to be completed, after which Google executives would, most probably, be summoned to appear before the CCI. Google was accused of forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and the Chrome browser on their smartphones, giving it an unfair advantage over its competitors. The case against Google in India was filed in February this year, but at the time it was not known whether the case had any merit, but according to sources within the CCI, the competition regulator believes that there is a case against the search engine giant. After the European Union case, Google says users in Europe will be able to choose rival browsers and search engines, which doesn't really address the pre-installation issues. Voluntary change in conduct may have an impact on the quantum of penalty, if it's imposed.

Google continually faces a lot of legal issues in various territories but it wasn't until the case in Europe that they received a hefty fine for antitrust violations. Regarding the accusation of having abused its market position and abuse of power, a Google spokesperson stated that the popularity of Android has actually ensured that there is more competition in the market place as more and more developers vie to get a share of the huge Indian market.

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