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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Antitrust case against Google for abusing position in smart TV market

Government officials The Indian Express reached out to, however, said the case was likely at a preliminary stage as the members and chairperson of the CCI had not yet reviewed the allegations or ordered any investigation.

Written by Aashish Aryan , Karunjit Singh | New Delhi | October 8, 2020 12:28:44 am
In June last year, the antitrust body had held Google guilty of misuse of its dominant position in the mobile android market and said the company had imposed “unfair conditions” on the device manufacturers so as to prevent them from using other operating systems. (File)

Google is facing a new antitrust case in India for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the Android smart-television market by creating barriers for companies which wanted to use or modify its android operating systems for their smart televisions, according to a report from Reuters.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has since June been looking into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating barriers for firms wanting to use or develop modified versions of Android for smart TVs, such as Amazon Fire TV’s operating system, the Reuters report said.

Government officials The Indian Express reached out to, however, said the case was likely at a preliminary stage as the members and chairperson of the CCI had not yet reviewed the allegations or ordered any investigation.

“A complaint is initially looked into by a section of the CCI which then present their initial findings and the complaint to members of the CCI who may then order an investigation by the director general of the CCI if they find merit in the complaint,” said a government official, noting that the complaint in question had not yet been presented to the members and chairperson of the CCI.

Another government official close to the development said that there was nothing that had been done until now, although the case against Google “looked interesting”. Executives working with Google said though they were aware of a case of “this nature” against the company, they were yet to receive a formal intimation or any legal notice, either from the complainants or the CCI.

“We have to look at the documents to understand what are the allegations being made and only then can we respond against them. So far, we have nothing,” an executive at the company said.

In June last year, the antitrust body had held Google guilty of misuse of its dominant position in the mobile android market and said the company had imposed “unfair conditions” on the device manufacturers so as to prevent them from using other operating systems. In its 14-page order, CCI had held that requiring mobile phone handset makers to pre-install the entire Google mobile services pack, which is a collection of Google’s apps, was unfair.

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