The Competition Commission of India (ITC) has reportedly determined that Google used Android’s dominance over the smartphone market to prevent competitors from using their own versions of the operating system on their devices.
CCI found that Google limited “the ability and incentive for device manufacturers to develop and sell devices that run on alternate versions of Android.” according to Reuters, which obtained a copy of the still unpublished report.
Android powers 98% of India’s smartphones, Reuters said, but that was not what led CCI to conclude that Google violated antitrust laws. The problem is that Google allegedly required manufacturers to pre-install their apps on their devices.
Google offers the core Android experience through Android open source project, which manufacturers can freely modify, but must sign a license agreement with Google if they want to offer access to the Google Play market.
The Google Play Store is by far the most popular application distribution platform on Android; many people expect to be able to enter the market when they buy an Android-branded phone. But it is licensed as part of the Google mobile services package that includes Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps and other services operated by Google.
CCI would not be the first regulator to complain about this arrangement. South Korea recently issued Google was fined $ 176.64 million for this problem, and US state prosecutors have charged the company with violating antitrust laws as well.
Google did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but the company told Reuters it wants to “demonstrate how Android has brought more competition and innovation, not less” to CCI so it can ease the regulator’s concerns.