Google in fresh trouble as India reportedly orders ‘antitrust’ investigation over Android smart TVs

CCI said that its prima facie opinion is that Google has made the pre-installation of its proprietary apps, Google Play Store in particular, conditional when signing the Android Compatibility Commitments or ACC.

These aspects call for a further investigation into the working of Google in this segment, the commission has apparently said.

Google Android for Smart TV: Google has landed in trouble in India. The social media giant has recently been reeling under anti-trust investigation in Europe, and a report in TechCrunch has now suggested that India might be carrying out its own investigation as well. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reportedly said that Google, which has a dominant position in the Smart TV segment due to its Android, has been abusing its power. The commission said that manufacturers of Smart TVs do not have any alternative to Android for making their products, and so, are left with no choice but to install Google’s apps.

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CCI said that its prima facie opinion is that Google has made the pre-installation of its proprietary apps, Google Play Store in particular, conditional when signing the Android Compatibility Commitments or ACC for all Android-based devices that are manufactured, distributed or marketed by the manufacturers. This has, therefore, reduced the ability as well as the incentive of manufacturers to develop and sell devices that operate on alternative versions of the operating system. This, it said, has snowballed into a limited technical or scientific development related to these goods.

Apart from this, the commission also noted that the ACC rendered other brands unable to manufacture or sell devices operating on rival Android OS, and this, considering the dominance that Google holds in the segment, leads to a denial of market access to those developers that created an alternative Android OS.

The Android Smart TVs sold in India have some must-have pre-installed apps, which CCI said was an unfair condition imposed on manufacturers of Smart TVs.

These aspects call for a further investigation into the working of Google in this segment, the commission has apparently said.

Meanwhile, Google has denied indulging in any malpractice, asserting that it was of firm belief that its licensing practices in the segment were in compliance with the law.

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