CCI fines Google Rs 936 crore for abusing its dominant position in its Play store policy

Tags: Economy/Finance

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined search engine giant Google Rs 936.44 crore for “abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies”. This is the second time that Google has been fined by the CCI. Last week Google was fined  Rs 1,337.76 crore by the CCI for abusing its dominant position in the Android mobile device market. 

The CCI found Google of following discriminatory policy regarding the listing of an app on its play store . Google play store is the official online store for Android devices. The Android operating system has been developed by Google and almost 96% of smartphone’s in India run on Android operating system.

What is the issue ?

If any company which has developed an android app and wants to get listed at the playstore then it has to pay a fee to google.  The app developer has to use the Google Play Billing system(GPBS) only to pay the fees to Google.

App developers that do not use GPBS are not allowed to list their products on Google Play Store.

This was found by CCI as violative of the competition principle as Google was abusing its market dominance position to keep payment competitor’s like Unified Payment Interface (UPI), wallets and other apps out of the market .

The CCI noted Google forced app developers to use in-app payment systems because selling in-app digital goods made an important means for these developers to monetise their work.

The regulator has issued a cease-and-desist order, suggesting eight corrective measures including providing access to third-party billing payment processing systems on its Play Store.

The CCI has given 30 days to implement the corrective measures and modify its conduct.

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