NEW DELHI: Alphabet Inc’s Google is going through a brand new antitrust case in India wherein the US tech big is alleged to have abused its Android working system’s place within the sensible tv market, a supply and two legal professionals concerned within the case instructed Reuters.
The case is Google’s fourth main antitrust problem in India, certainly one of its key markets the place it’s at present going through public criticism from native startups for implementing sure insurance policies and firm expenses they contend harm their progress.
It additionally comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges in america, and a possible antitrust probe in China that’s set to look into the way it allegedly makes use of its dominance of its Android cellular working system to stifle competitors. Google has denied any wrongdoing.
The Competitors Fee of India (CCI) has since June been trying into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating obstacles for corporations wanting to make use of or develop modified variations of Android for sensible TVs, equivalent to Amazon Fireplace TV’s working system, in line with the supply, who has direct information of the case.
The case has been filed by two Indian antitrust legal professionals, Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand. They each confirmed the case submitting in opposition to Google for alleged abuse within the sensible tv market, however declined to remark additional.
The supply mentioned the CCI had directed Google to submit its written responses to the allegations and that the corporate has sought extra time.
A Google spokesman declined remark, for the reason that case with the antitrust physique was pending. Amazon and the CCI didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Not like Indian court docket circumstances, filings and particulars of circumstances reviewed by the CCI aren’t disclosed publicly.
The antitrust watchdog might order a wider investigation in opposition to Google if it finds benefit within the allegations, or throw out the case fully.
Sensible TVs, or WiFi-enabled TVs with apps for streaming companies like Netflix and YouTube, have turn into more and more widespread in India.
Information from Counterpoint Analysis reveals eight million sensible TV units have been bought in India in 2019. Three in 5 sensible TVs bought in India are primarily based on Google’s Android system, which additionally powers practically 99% of India’s half a billion smartphone consumer base.
The newest case alleges that Google’s agreements with firms equivalent to Xiaomi and TV producer TCL India successfully cease them from utilizing each the Android system and a modified model of it on completely different gadgets they make, in line with the supply.
For instance, if an organization sells smartphones primarily based on Google’s Android, it can not promote sensible TVs working on competing platforms just like the Amazon Fireplace TV system, in line with the case in opposition to the Mountain View, California-based firm, the supply mentioned.
And in reverse, if an organization’s sensible TV is utilizing Amazon’s Fireplace working system, then that firm is restricted from providing Google’s widespread Play Retailer or the Google maps app on its smartphones.
Xiaomi India and TCL India, which is a part of China’s TCL Know-how Group Corp, are each get together to the case together with Google. Xiaomi didn’t reply to requests for remark whereas TCL declined to remark.
In 2018, the CCI fined Google Rs 136 crore ($18.5 million) for “search bias,” however an organization attraction in opposition to that’s pending. The CCI final 12 months additionally began probing Google for allegedly misusing its dominant place to scale back the flexibility of smartphone makers to go for alternate variations of its Android system.
Earlier this 12 months, the CCI began reviewing a case alleging that Google abuses its market place to unfairly promote its cellular funds app within the nation.

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