The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has reportedly ordered an investigation into Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit to look into alleged abuse of its Android mobile operating system’s dominance in order to block competitors. The watchdog reportedly found merit in the accusations in April and launched a full probe by its investigation unit, according to Reuters.
The complaint is similar to one that resulted in a $5 billion fine for Google in Europe. “It is a strong case for the CCI, given the EU precedent,” an unnamed source told Reuters.
According to the newswire, the watchdog did not reply to a comment request, but a spokesperson for Google noted that Android has allowed millions of people in India to link to the internet through the affordability of mobile devices. The spokesperson said the company is looking forward to working with the watchdog "to demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”
The report also pointed out that there is still the possibility that the investigations unit of CCI “could clear Google of any wrongdoing.” But it wasn’t immediately known what size fine could be imposed on Google in the event that the watchdog rules against the company.
Last year, Google was hit with a fine in India after being accused of abusing its position of power and “search bias.” The CCI wrote in an order, according to Reuters last February, that "Google was found to be indulging in practices of search bias, and by doing so, it causes harm to its competitors as well as to users. Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services.”
The CCI, however, determined there was no evidence of violations when it came to Google’s specialized search design, online distribution agreements and AdWords, per reports at the time.