Google agrees to cooperate with CCI
Google said on Friday that it will cooperate with India's competition authority after the Supreme Court upheld the antitrust directives forcing it to change how it markets its popular Android platform in a key growth market.
In October, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ruled that Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, exploited its dominant position in Android and ordered it to remove restrictions on device makers, including those related to the pre-installation of apps and ensuring its search was exclusive. A $161-million fine was also imposed on Google.
On Thursday, Google lost a challenge in the Supreme Court to block the directives, getting seven days to comply.
According to the Supreme Court, a lower tribunal—where Google first challenged Android directives—can continue to hear its appeal until March 31.
About 97% of 600 million smartphones in India run on Android, according to Counterpoint Research estimates. Apple has just a 3% share.
Google has filed a lawsuit against the CCI decision in the Supreme Court, arguing that it might hinder the expansion of the Android ecosystem in an effort to stop the execution of the CCI directives. Additionally, it stated that if the guidelines take effect, it will be required to change its agreements with more than 1,100 device makers and thousands of app developers.
Given that India's move is perceived as taking more drastic measures than those mandated by the European Commission's 2018 order, Google has expressed alarm about it. It received a fine for imposing what the Commission deemed to be illegal limitations on manufacturers of Android mobile devices. Google is currently contesting the record $4.3 billion fine.
Some analysts say Google will now need to make similar changes in India to comply with the directives.