Google is facing the heat in India.
The country’s antitrust regulator has imposed a penalty of approximately 13.4 billion rupees ($162 million) on Alphabet Inc’s Google for abusing its “dominant position in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem.”
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has asked Google to modify its conduct in relation to anti-competitive practices.
In its inquiry, the commission concluded that Google has an unfair competitive edge in the market because it owns the Android operating software and allows some of its own products —such as YouTube and Google search—to come pre-installed on all Android-run devices.
“The Commission opined that the markets should be allowed to compete on merits and the onus is on the dominant players (in the present case, Google) that its conduct does not impinge this competition on merits,” the CCI said Thursday in a press release.
When asked for a comment, a Google India spokesperson told CNN Business that it is “yet to receive the order and will not be able to comment until then.”
India’s competition watchdog is also investigating separately Google’s in-app payments system and its business conduct in the smart TV market.
Google has been pouring some serious cash into India, which is a key overseas market for American tech firms.
The world’s second most populous country has 750 million internet users, and millions more are expected to come online in the future. And unlike its more populous neighbor China, India has been welcoming huge amounts of investment from US tech giants: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix, and others have already invested billions of dollars into growing their Indian operations.
In 2020, Google said it was planning to invest $10 billion in India as part of plans to make the internet “affordable and useful” for a billion people.
- Diksha Madhok contributed to this report