back to article India fines Google $162 million for abusing Android monopoly

India's Competition Commission has announced it will fine Google ₹1,337.76 crore (₹13,377,600,000 or $161.5 million) for abusing its dominant position in multiple markets in the Android Mobile device ecosystem and ordered the company to open the Android ecosystem to competition. The fine comes after the Commission probed the …

  1. doublelayer Silver badge

    Interesting list of changes

    Going through the short list of changes mentioned in the article, some of these could have either no effect at all or massive ones, depending on how they would be enforced.

    • Allowing third—party app stores to be sold on Google Play;

    This would probably not go very well if those stores actually sell apps, because that would be an in-app payment for digital products, and Google has terms restricting payment for those if the app is in their store. Enforcement of this would be likely to require some modification to that restriction or nothing would happen. Someone could probably put FDroid in the Play Store, though, as all those apps are free. I wonder if that's a good thing.

    • Allowing side-loading of apps;

    Google will argue they already do that. If India means that they'll have to remove some of the restrictions that make sideloaded (and for that matter any user-installed) app subject to restrictions that system apps don't have, they'll need to clarify this.

    • Giving users choice of default search engine other than Google when setting up a device;

    I thought Google already had to do this somewhere, but maybe I'm still thinking of Microsoft's browser box and assuming someone put one on Google. Either way, useful but small.

    • Ceasing payments to handset makers to secure search exclusivity;

    That could give us some interesting results, but since they already have them over a barrel with Google Play Services, maybe not as much as we'd like because they could integrate it into that and charge companies less than they were.

    • Not denying access to Android APIs to developers who build apps that run on Android forks.

    This also requires clarification. I wonder if that means they'd have to open source some of their proprietary services, or just avoid breaking them when sideloaded (which usually doesn't work).

    I have a feeling nothing will happen from any of these. Google will appeal somewhere or convince the current Indian government that they could help with their attempt to cancel out democracy in return for this going away. It would be interesting to watch Android change if they did have to change for this.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bad compared to the DMA, now if other regulators would also do similar things.

  3. dyxribo

    being successful will always bring hate

    this is so annoying. i feel like everyone wants to sue Google left and right not realizing that their practices are not only understandable, but exactly what anyone else would do if they had built a company like this from the ground up. like come on, the sideloading thing?? that's literally a security feature. and opening their API to Android forks? why should they? you fork Android you can make your own API and your own apps, like Samsung literally does. i would probably do the same thing if i had a choice.

    on top of that, Google has some of the best engineers in the world working there. some ex Microsoft, some ex Apple, facebook, amazon, you name it. their products are high quality, give or take some buggy apps here and there.

    people just can't be grateful. most companies aren't pushing out software of Google's quality, and because of that, these laws would essentially introduce a lot more bad software and maybe even malware to the platform. prices may be lower, but quality would suffer. we'd be back to the early days of Android.

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