Mumbai: India’s antitrust regulator has fined Alphabet’s Google Rs13.4 billion ($162 million) for accelerating the dominant position of its Android smartphone operating system.
The Competition Commission of India said Google had strengthened its market position by making the installation of its own apps compulsory on new smartphones, among other moves the regulator deemed anti-competitive.
“Google, by making pre-installation of Google’s proprietary apps (particularly Google Play Store) for all Android devices manufactured, distributed [and] marketed by device manufacturers, has reduced the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operating on alternative versions of Android,” the CCI said in a statement on Thursday.
Google didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Google has also furthered its dominant position in online search, making it harder for rival search apps to break into the market, the CCI said, adding that it was issuing a cease and desist order against Google from behaving unfairly.
The CCI’s findings and suggested remedial measures will probably dampen Google’s growth in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, where Android is the dominant mobile operating system.
The regulator directed Google to change several of its current practices on Android including allowing smartphone users to uninstall apps as well as letting them select a search engine of their choice.