The Competition Commission of India on Tuesday imposed a penalty of Rs 936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position on online platforms to promote certain applications on the Play Store.
Google Play Store is an online marketplace where people can download applications, games, movies, books or TV shows on their Android devices.
This is the commission’s second ruling against Google in less than a week. On October 20, it had fined Google of Rs 1,337.76 crore for misusing its position in the Android marketplace.
The Competition Commission of India has been investigating Google since 2019 after it had received complaints from consumers regarding the company’s Android smartphone agreement. On Tuesday, the regulator said that Google has been abusing its position in the online market to promote its own payments app and in-app payment system.
“Google’s Payments Policy requiring mandatory and exclusive use of GPBS [Google Play’s Billing System] denies the payment aggregators/ payment gateways access to the market for processing of payments…” the commission said in its order. “Google has excluded other UPI apps as effective payment option on the Google Play Store.”
The Commission noted that Google provides truncated access to the trove of data collected from Android applications and Play Store to developers and retains full control over such data for monetisation on a commercial basis.
“These practices distort competition and disturb innovation incentives as well as the ability of the app developers to undertake technical development and innovate in their respective sphere of business activities,” it said.
On Friday, Google had termed the first penalty on it as a “major setback for consumers and businesses”.
“CCI’s decision is a major setback for Indian consumers and businesses, opening serious security risks for Indians who trust Android’s security features and raising the cost of mobile devices for Indians,” a company spokesperson had said. “We will review the decision to evaluate next steps.”