CCI Action Against Google Followed By Australian, German Competition Watchdogs
November 11, 2022: India’s competition watchdog CCI on October 20 levied a fine of Rs 1,337.76 crore on the search giant for what it said was abuse of its dominant position in multiple markets through Android OS.
Less than a week later, on October 25, Google was again fined Rs 936.44 crore by the CCI. Recent proceedings against Google by the Competition Commission of India are being closely followed by antitrust regulators in Australia and Germany.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it is aware of and following the recent CCI action against the tech giant.
Not just the ACCC, but Germany’s national competition regulatory agency Bundeskartelmut or Federal Cartel Office also took note of recent rulings in which the Indian watchdog last month fined Google Rs.
A fine of over 2,000 crores was imposed. This signals increased global attention on India’s policy rules that challenge the dominance of big tech companies in the country.
The ACCC continues to monitor enforcement actions and regulatory developments in other jurisdictions in relation to digital platforms and “takes these into account in carrying out its various enforcement and investigative functions”, a spokesperson told the Economic Times.
Germany’s Bundeskartellamt also launched two probes into Google’s business operations last year aimed at examining its data terms and looking into its News Showcase content licensing deals with publishers.
Competition watchdog CCI on October 20 fined the search giant for abusing its dominance in multiple markets through the Android operating system.
A penalty of 1,337.76 crores was collected. Less than a week later on October 25, Google was again fined Rs. A fine of 936.44 crores was imposed.
Third Penalty Soon? Now, the company is awaiting a third fine from India’s competition regulator for its alleged abuse of market dominance in the smart TV market.
The investigation into the matter has been completed and the Director General’s Office of the Competition Watchdog has also submitted a report.
On foreign competition watchers who closely monitor India’s policy rulings, legal experts opined that the CCI ruling could set a precedent for similar actions aimed at curbing Google’s “market dominance”.
This could also serve as a “signal to other big tech companies”. “The Indian judgment goes beyond the European Commission decision and widens the scope of remedies.
CCI’s decision addresses the concerns of many additional markets,” said Yaman Verma, partner, competition practice, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
The CCI in its judgment said that Google should not deny access to its Play Services application programming interface and financial incentives to vendors.
Legal experts said the CCI’s rulings, especially on the Android issue, were stricter than other jurisdictions and therefore believed the rulings had “opened a Pandora’s box for Google”.
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