Exclusive: Google Faces New Antitrust Case In India Over Abuse In Smart TVs Market

NEW DELHI: Alphabet Inc’s Google is going through a brand new antitrust case in India during which the U.S. tech big is alleged to have abused its Android working system’s place within the good tv market, a supply and two legal professionals concerned within the case instructed Reuters.

The case is Google’s fourth main antitrust problem in India, considered one of its key markets the place it’s at the moment going through public criticism from native startups for imposing sure insurance policies and firm costs they contend harm their development.

It additionally comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges within the United States, and a possible antitrust probe in China that’s set to look into the way it allegedly makes use of its dominance of its Android cellular working system to stifle competitors. Google has denied any wrongdoing.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has since June been trying into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating limitations for companies wanting to make use of or develop modified variations of Android for good TVs, resembling Amazon Fire TV’s working system, in keeping with the supply, who has direct data of the case.

The case has been filed by two Indian antitrust legal professionals, Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand. They each confirmed the case submitting in opposition to Google for alleged abuse within the good tv market, however declined to remark additional.

The supply mentioned the CCI had directed Google to submit its written responses to the allegations and that the corporate has sought extra time.

A Google spokesman declined remark, because the case with the antitrust physique was pending. Amazon and the CCI didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Unlike Indian court docket instances, filings and particulars of instances reviewed by the CCI should not disclosed publicly.

The antitrust watchdog might order a wider investigation in opposition to Google if it finds benefit within the allegations, or throw out the case utterly.

Smart TVs, or WiFi-enabled TVs with apps for streaming providers like Netflix and YouTube, have change into more and more fashionable in India.

Data from Counterpoint Research exhibits eight million good TV units have been offered in India in 2019. Three in 5 good TVs offered in India are primarily based on Google’s Android system, which additionally powers almost 99% of India’s half a billion smartphone consumer base.

The newest case alleges that Google’s agreements with corporations resembling Xiaomi and TV producer TCL India successfully cease them from utilizing each the Android system and a modified model of it on totally different units they make, in keeping with the supply.

For instance, if an organization sells smartphones primarily based on Google’s Android, it can not promote good TVs working on competing platforms just like the Amazon Fire TV system, in keeping with the case in opposition to the Mountain View, California-based firm, the supply mentioned.

And in reverse, if an organization’s good TV is utilizing Amazon’s Fire working system, then that firm is restricted from providing Google’s fashionable Play Store or the Google maps app on its smartphones.

Xiaomi India and TCL India, which is a part of China’s TCL Technology Group Corp, are each social gathering to the case together with Google. Xiaomi didn’t reply to requests for remark whereas TCL declined to remark.

In 2018, the CCI fined Google 1.36 billion rupees($18.5 million) for “search bias,” however an organization attraction in opposition to that’s pending. The CCI final 12 months additionally began probing Google for allegedly misusing its dominant place to cut back the flexibility of smartphone makers to go for alternate variations of its Android system.

Earlier this 12 months, the CCI began reviewing a case alleging that Google abuses its market place to unfairly promote its cellular funds app within the nation.

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