The CCI (Competition Commission of India), the country’s chief national competition regulator, has reportedly fined Silicon-Valley tech giant, Google ₹936 crores ($113.6 million) for its anti-competitive practices and for abusing its position on its mobile app store, Google Play Store.
According to reports, this is the second such penalty CCI has imposed on Google within the span of a week.
During its antitrust probe, the CCI found that the American firm was using its dominance to make app developers use its in-app payment system.
In its 199-page order, CCI asked Google to implement eight operations adjustments within three months, and directed the firm to not restrict app developers from utilizing third-party payment processing and billing services for either buying an app or for in-app purchases.
The order also stated that Google must ensure complete transparency while communicating with app developers and about the details of service fees charged
In an official response, Google stated that it was committed to its developers and users, and is reviewing the decision to assess the next steps.
A spokesperson from the company stated that Indian developers have benefitted from the flexibility, consumer protections, security, tech, and unrivaled choice that Android and Google Play has to offer.
The spokesperson added that by keeping costs low Google’s model has helped power the country’s digital transformation and expanded access to hundreds of millions of people in India.
Last week, Google was fined ₹1337 crore ($162 million) as part of the CCI’s anti-competitive probe, wherein it was found that Google was using its Android platform to dominate the market.
The company was asked to allow smartphone users to uninstall the pre-installed Google apps from the device, and to ‘cease and desist’ from unfair practices.
According to reliable reports, 97% of 600 million smartphones in India are powered by Google’s operating system.
The California-based company has been facing a string of antitrust probes in India since 2020, after an antitrust case had been filed against it during a time where the country had started tightening its existing regulations for the tech sector.
Analysts believe that this order will make sure that there is healthy competition and lower costs for app developers.