Indian watchdog finds Google abused dominance of Android system: reports

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Google had abused the dominance of its Android system in India according to a report issued by an Indian watchdog organization. 

The report came after a two-year antitrust investigation by Competition Commission of India (CCI). 

Reuters was able to review a copy of the 750-page report. 

According to the newswire, the CCI issued the report in June, stating that the incentives and ability for device manufacturers to create and sell Android-alternative operating products had been reduced by Google. 

The probe also found the system’s mandatory pre-installation of apps violated India’s competition statute.  

The report also criticized the policies of Google’s Play Store, stating that they were “one-sided, ambiguous, vague, biased and arbitrary.”

According to Counterpoint Research, out of the 520 million smartphones in India, 98 percent are powered by Android, Reuters noted.  

Tens of companies were interviewed by the CCI regarding their investigation, including Apple and Amazon, TechCrunch reported, noting that the report had not yet been formally released yet.

During the investigation, Google argued multiple times that it had not unfairly hurt competition in the country, submitting over 20 responses, according to Reuters. A person familiar with the findings told the wire service that before a final order has been issued, the report will be reviewed one more time with an opportunity for Google to respond to its findings. 

The U.S. recently launched its own antitrust probe against the tech giant, and earlier this year, another antitrust probe was launched in Germany.

“Android has enabled millions of Indians to connect to the internet by making mobile devices more affordable,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill. “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 request for comment by Reuters was not returned by the CCI.

–Updated on Sept. 20 at 3:20 p.m.

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