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Anti-trust watchdog fines Google $162m over market dominance


Google has been fined more than $160 million by India’s anti-trust watchdog after a probe found the tech company abused its top  position in the local smartphone market.

Google's Android mobile operating system is by far the biggest in India and is run on 95 percent of all the country’s smartphones, according to research agency Counterpoint but the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said the google operating system was configured to unlawfully remove rivals of YouTube, web browser Chrome and other popular Google apps.

According to a CCI statement on Thursday night, October 20, Android had a suite of Google apps pre-installed on its phones, including the company’s own search engine, “which accorded significant competitive edge to Google’s search services over its competitors”.

“Markets should be allowed to compete on merits and the onus is on (Google) that its conduct does not impinge this competition on merits,” it added.

The commission has levied a fine of 13.4 billion rupees ($162 million) and instructed the company to allow Android users to remove pre-installed Google apps.
It also told Google not to enter into any agreement with smartphone makers that would encourage them to only sell Android-based devices or exclusively use its software in the market
Google faced a similar anti-trust ruling in the European Union that found the company had imposed “unlawful restrictions” on smartphone makers to benefit its search engine and was also fined $4.1 billion by the EU.

India is home to the second-highest number of smartphone users in the world, after China with annual sales exceeding 169 million units.

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