Google was fined Rs 936.44 crore by the Commission of India (CCI) on Tuesday for the second time in less than a week, bringing the total fine to Rs 2,274 core, for abusing its dominant position over Play Store policy and ordered the tech giant to stop engaging in unfair business practices.
After a new antitrust investigation this month, the U.S. tech company was found guilty of abusing its dominant market position to promote its payment app and integrated payment system, according to the ICC on Tuesday.
The CCI tweeted that it had fined Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to its Play Store policies.
Cases n° 07 of 2020, 14 of 2021 and 35 of 2021
CCI imposes a monetary penalty of ₹936.44 Crore on Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to its Play Store policies.
Read the full order here: https://t.co/GDR820ffYg
Press release: https://t.co/7HEPJeHVK3#Antitrustpic.twitter.com/TbTa6vbCXl
— CCI (@CCI_India) October 25, 2022
This comes after the ICC fined Google Rs 1,337.76 crore for Android-related anti-competitive practices on Thursday last week.
App stores are necessary for developers to distribute their apps to end users, and the availability of app stores is directly related to the operating system (OS) present on a smart device.
Based on an understanding of the market dynamics of mobile operating systems available for licensing in India, Google’s Android operating system has successfully reaped the benefits of indirect network effects.
The CCI said that the main distribution channel for software in the Android mobile ecosystem is the Google Play Store, which allows its owners to enjoy applications launched in the market.
According to Google’s Play Store policies, app developers must exclusively use the Google Play Billing System (GPBS) to accept payments for apps distributed or sold through the Google Play Store and for certain in-app purchases.
Additionally, app developers may not include wording that encourages users to purchase the digital item outside of the app or include a direct link in an app to a website that accepts another payment method, called anti-piloting provisions.
According to its assessment, the Indian watchdog concluded that Google dominates the Indian app store markets for Android smart mobile operating systems and licensed operating systems for smart mobile devices, forcing developers to applications to use GPBS was unfair and arbitrary.
The huge pool of potential customers who use Android would be lost if app developers did not follow Google’s policy on the use of GPBS and were not allowed to advertise their apps on the Play Store, which, according to the ICC, has no real economic reason to need GPBS. use to access play store for premium apps and in-app purchases.
The ability to choose a preferred payment processor from the open market is being taken away from app makers, the watchdog added.
Google has yet to comment on the latest penalty.
Following the fine imposed by the ICC last week on Friday, Google said the sanction was “a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses” and that the firm would review the decision to assess next steps.