Anti-Competitive Practices of Tech-Giants
- In the second blow to Google’s coffers in a week, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on October 25 imposed a fine of ₹936.44 crore on the tech major for anti-competitive practices in its Play Store policies
What is the reason behind?
- One of the three antitrust litigation Google is involved in in India is the subject of the most recent CCI fine.
- After a private complainant, whose name has been kept anonymous, filed an antitrust complaint against Google in 2020, the inquiry into Google’s payment method utilised in the Play Store got under way.
- Startups and small digital businesses in India have voiced their displeasure with Google’s strategy of forcing app developers to adopt its own payment mechanism.
- In South Korea and Indonesia, similar investigations into Google are also ongoing.
- More than three million programmes can be found in the Google Play Store, a marketplace for apps and services.
- In the current case involving Google, the CCI investigated whether the corporation had violated the Competition Act by mandating that app developers use the Google Play billing system (GPBS) to process payments for both in-app purchases and paid app downloads.
- The investigation also mentioned that app developers would not be allowed to list their apps on the Play Store if they did not follow Google’s policy of using GPBS.
- The CCI came to the conclusion that it was “one-sided and arbitrary” to require GPBS in order to access the Play Store, and that it also denied app developers “the inherent choice to utilise payment processor of their preference from the open market.”
What is Google’s Response?
- Google defended itself after the second penalty by claiming that “Indian developers have benefited from tech, security, consumer protections, and unrivalled choice & flexibility that Android & Google Play provide.”
- Google had previously called last week’s 1,300 crore fine a “major setback” for its Indian operations.
- The low-cost business model, it continued, had fueled India’s “digital transformation” and increased “access for hundreds of millions of Indians.”
- According to a report, Google also intends to file a lawsuit in reaction to the CCI’s initial antitrust decision.
Source The Hindu