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Google fined Rs 936 crore

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 14:40, 26 October 2022  
Google fined Rs 936 crore

Tech giant Google on Tuesday (October 25) was slapped with another fine for abusing its dominant position with respect to Play Store policies.

The tech giant was fined Rs 936.44 crore by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the second time in less than a week, taking the total penalty to Rs 2,274 core, for misusing its dominant position about Play Store policy and ordered the tech giant to stop engaging in unfair commercial practises.

After yet another antitrust probe this month, the US tech firm was found guilty of abusing its dominant market position to promote its payments app and in-app payment system, according to the CCI on Tuesday.

The CCI tweeted it fined Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to its Play Store policies.

That comes after the CCI fined Google Rs 1,337.76 crore for anti-competitive practices related to Android on Thursday last week.

App stores are required for developers to distribute their apps to end users, and the availability of app store(s) is directly related to the operating system (OS) present on a smart device.

From an understanding of the market dynamics for mobile operating systems available for licencing in India, Google’s Android OS has successfully reaped the benefits of indirect network effects.

The CCI said the Android mobile ecosystem’s primary software distribution channel is Google’s Play Store, which enables its owners to profit from the apps released to the market.

According to Google’s Play Store policies, app developers must exclusively use Google Play’s Billing System (GPBS) to accept payments for apps distributed or sold through the Google Play Store and for some in-app purchases.

Additionally, app developers cannot include wording that encourages users to buy the digital item outside of the app or include a direct link within an app to a website that accepts an alternate payment method, called the anti-steering provisions.

According to its evaluation, the Indian watchdog concluded that Google dominated the Indian markets for app stores for Android smart mobile OS and licensable OS for smart mobile devices, forcing app developers to use the GPBS was unfair and arbitrary.

The enormous pool of prospective customers who use Android would be lost if the app developers did not go by Google's policy of using GPBS and were not allowed to advertise their apps on the Play Store, which the CCI said lacks any real economic reason to need GPBS usage to access the Play Store for premium apps and in-app purchases. 

The option to choose a preferred payment processor from the open market is taken away from the app creators, added the watchdog.

Google is yet to comment on the latest penalty.

After the fine by the CCI last week, on Friday, Google had said that penalty was "a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses" and that the firm would review the decision to evaluate the next steps._NDTV

Dhaka/AI