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CCI slaps Rs936-cr penalty on Google, 2nd fine in a mth

Imposes fine on search engine giant for not allowing third party billing and payment processing services; Antitrust authority directs Google not to restrict app developers from using any third party billing/payment processing services

Google says reviewing CCIs decision to evaluate next steps
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Google says reviewing CCI's decision to evaluate next steps

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Unfair Trade Practices

- Earlier this month, CCI imposed a penalty of Rs1,337.76 cr on Google for abusing its dominant position

- Google insisting on device manufacturers to pre-install its entire Google Mobile Suite

- Also mandating for prominent placement of those apps amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers

- Thus it's in contravention of the provisions

- Google has vast user base in India

- Android operating system powers 97% of India's 600mn smartphones

- Google recently lost its appeal against a record $4.3-bn fine in EU

Many technology startups in India are criticizing Google vehemently for charging them very high for launching apps. Even more than 150 startups and firms in India are mulling to launch an app store to cut their reliance on Google

Bengaluru: Search engine giant Alphabet Inc's Google was fined $113 million (Rs936 crore) on Tuesday, making it the second penalty on the company in October as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) concluded another antitrust investigation. The penalty was imposed on Google for not allowing third party billing and payment processing services. The antitrust authority directed Google "not to restrict app developers from using any third-party billing/payment processing services."

Earlier this month, CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs1,337.76 crore ($162 million) on Google for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets with its Android mobile operating system (OS). It has prescribed a set of about a dozen key measures that the company has to comply with.

The antitrust body in the previous order has said that Google requiring device manufacturers to pre-install its entire Google Mobile Suite and mandating prominent placement of those apps "amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers and thus was in contravention of the provisions."

India is one of the key markets for Google with vast user base. Google's Android operating system powers 97 per cent of the country's 600 million smartphones, according to research firm Counterpoint. Meanwhile, the global giant has said in a statement that the fine was a setback to Indian consumers. "The CCI's decision is a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses, opening serious security risks for Indians who trust Android's security features, and raising the cost of mobile devices for Indians," the company had said. Google is being investigated across the globe for unfair trade practices as authorities are trying hard to create a level-playing field for technology-powered companies. Globally, technology giants are becoming very powerful with a near dominant position on many strategic sectors.

The company had lost its appeal against a record $4.3 billion fine in EU for using the dominance of Android to thwart competition recently. It's also subject to Germany's new regulation that targets large companies.

Many technology startups in India are criticizing Google vehemently for charging them very high for launching apps. Even more than 150 startups and firms in India are mulling to launch an app store to cut their reliance on Google.

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