India orders anti-trust probe of Google for alleged Android abuse

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As reported by Reuters, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) started investigating the matter last year and in April this year, the CCI found that there could be a strong case and the committee has ordered its investigation unit to launch a full probe into the matter.

Google was fined € 4.34 billion a year ago by the European Commission for abuse of power with the mobile operating system Android.

Following preliminary investigations, the CCI last month made a decision to have a full-scale investigation into the accusations, which it found to have some merit. "We look forward to working with the Competition Commission of India to demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less", a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

"It is a strong case for the CCI, given the European Union precedent. The CCI has (preliminarily) found Google abused its dominant position".

The investigation, which is expected to last about a year, will require the presence of Google executives to appear at different times before the end of the year, the source told Reuters. In that very month, India's CCI too imposed a fine of Rs 136 crore (~$21.1 million) on internet giant Google which was for unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search. Even though Google appealed the fine, last month it unveiled two new screens for Android users in Europe that suggest third-party browsers and search engines that users can install on their Android devices. The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws. The EU said the company required handset makers to preinstall Google Search and Chrome on devices as a condition of licensing Android. The amount of fine that can be imposed on Google if the CCI rules against it was not immediately clear.

The Competition Commission of India has ordered a probe into Google for alleged abuse of its popular Android OS to block rivals. In that case, Google's earnings linked to its web browser and search engine could be considered to assess the fine, New Delhi-based antitrust lawyer Gautam Shahi said.

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