The Competition Commission of India on Thursday said that it has imposed a penalty of Rs 1,337.76 crore on Google for “abusing its dominant position” in multiple markets in the Android mobile device ecosystem.

Android is an operating system that runs applications and programs in smartphones. It was acquired by Google in 2005.

In 2019, the Competition Commission had ordered an inquiry against Google after it had received complaints from consumers regarding its Android smartphone agreements.

On Thursday, the commission said that it found that pre-installation of the entire Google Mobile Suite – a collection of Google applications – was mandatory in Android smartphones and that there was no no option to uninstall it.

“Their [the applications] prominent placement amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers and thereby contravenes competition law,” the antitrust body said.

It said that the most prominent search entry points in smartphones such as the search apps, widgets and web browser Chrome – also developed by Google – are pre-installed on Android devices that gives the technology company a significant competitive edge over its competitors

“Further, Google also secured significant competitive edge over its competitors, in relation to its another revenue earning app i.e. YouTube in Android devices,” the Commission said. “The competitors of these services could never avail the same level of market access which Google secured…”

The commission also said that Google should allow users to choose their default search engine while setting up their smartphones.

It has directed Google to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.