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India plans action against Google over antitrust violations

India plans action against Google over antitrust violations


NEW DELHI: The Indian government will take action against Alphabet’s Google after an antitrust watchdog found last year it engaged in anti-competitive behavior and abused its market position, IT said. A top minister told Reuters.

India’s antitrust agency fined Google $275 million in October over two lawsuits for abusing its dominant position in the Android operating system market and coercing developers to use the company’s in-app payment system. imposed.

Deputy Federal Minister for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Reuters in an interview at the IT Ministry in New Delhi that such findings are “serious” and cause “deep concern” for the Indian federal government. India’s federal government said it would take its own action against Google.

“The ministry must take action,” Chandrasekhar said. “We’ve thought it through, and we’ll see that in the next few weeks. It’s certainly not the kind of thing that you just leave and shove under the carpet.”

He did not specify what policy or regulatory measures the government could take.

Chandrasekhar, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s top officials in his government, said the issue was “not just worrying for us, but for India’s digital ecosystem as a whole.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment on the minister’s remarks. Asked if he had discussed the issue with Google, Chandrasekhar said: “There is no need to discuss it. There is a court decision.”

The payment lawsuit is still on appeal, but an Indian court said in March, in response to a legal challenge, that the Indian Competition Commission’s findings of Google’s anti-competitive conduct in the Android market were correct.

The minister’s comments come against a backdrop of rising tensions between Indian companies and Google.

India, after Tinder owner Match Group and a number of startups claimed that a new service fee system used by Google for in-app payments violated the Competition Commission’s October ruling. competition watchdog has launched a new investigation into Google.

Google has previously said that the service fee will help invest in the Google Play app store and Android mobile OS and ensure that it can be distributed for free.

In the wake of India’s Android antitrust order, Google also warned that “no other jurisdiction has called for such sweeping changes” as the country’s mobile OS sales methods have changed significantly. was forced to make significant changes.

About 97% of India’s 620 million smartphones run Android, and the company sees India as a key growth market.

Other companies such as Apple and Amazon are also facing lawsuits for possible anti-competitive conduct in India. Chandrasekhar said the government is keen to take steps to ensure India’s digital economy is protected.

“We don’t want growth in a way that distorts consumer choice and free competition,” he said.

We will consider what governments need to do to prevent anyone, including (but not limited to) Google, from abusing market power or market power. ”

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