Business

Google faces antitrust case in India

Google’s faces third major antitrust challenge in India.

Google’s faces third major antitrust challenge in India.  

Plaint says it promotes payments app in its Android store, giving it unfair edge

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is looking into allegations that Alphabet Inc’s Google is abusing its market position to unfairly promote its mobile payments app in the country, five sources familiar with the case told Reuters.

The complaint was filed in February and the CCI has kept the identity of the complainant confidential, the first source with direct knowledge of the case said.

The complaint alleges the U.S. tech giant more prominently showcases its Google Pay app inside its Android app store in India, giving it an unfair advantage over apps of competitors, which hurts consumers, the source added.

Google did not respond to a request for comment. Two of the sources said the watchdog informed Google about the case being filed a few days ago and the company is expected to respond in due course.

Allegation under review

A source said the case filing is currently being reviewed by senior CCI members. Typically, in such cases, Google will appear before the watchdog, which will then decide on the way forward.

The CCI can direct its investigations unit to conduct a wider probe into the allegations, or dismiss the case if it finds no merit in it.

“It is at a consideration stage,” the source said.

The Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

This is Google’s third major antitrust challenge in India. In 2018, the CCI fined Google $21 million for “search bias”, but a company appeal against that is pending. Last year, the CCI also started probing Google for allegedly misusing its dominant position to reduce the ability of smartphone manufacturers to opt for alternate versions of its Android mobile operating system.

Google Pay allows users in India to do inter-bank fund transfers and bill payments. It competes with apps such as Softbank-backed Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe in India’s crowded digital payments market, where Facebook’s WhatsApp is also planning a similar service.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 8:08:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/google-faces-antitrust-case-in-india/article31689733.ece

Next Story