Google may face a third investigation by the Indian competition regulator for alleged abuse of market dominance in the smart TV market. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has completed the investigation and submitted its report.
In June 2021, CCI ordered an investigation into alleged abuse by Google’s smart television operating system (OS) Android TV after it found prima facie evidence, following a complaint filed by lawyers for two trusts.
Television manufacturers must enter into a license agreement with Google to use the platform. It has been alleged that the terms of such license agreements are quite restrictive for equipment manufacturers.
It is claimed that Google Play Store is pre-installed on TVs made by companies that have licensing agreements with Google, while Play Store services are not available for TVs made by companies that have not entered into agreements with Google.
The probe also looked at the Android Compatibility Commitments (ACC). These agreements prohibit equipment manufacturers from producing, distributing or selling other smart televisions that are not based on Android. According to Economic Times, a Google spokesperson said: “India’s emerging smart TV sector is thriving, thanks in part to Google’s free licensing model, and Android TV is competing with many established TV operating systems such as FireOS, Tizen and WebOS. . We are confident that our smart TV licensing practices comply with all applicable competition laws.”
Recent setbacks for the Google
Within a week, Google faced two allegations in quick succession. CCI fined Rs 1,300 crore for anti-competitive practices related to its Android operating system and was asked to change its approach to its Android platforms. A few weeks ago, CCI ordered an investigation into the case in which News Broadcasters and Digital Associations (NBDA) acquired the parent entities of Google, Alphabet Inc, Google LLC, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Ireland Ltd and Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. self-beneficial conditions unjustifiable for content writers associated with news organizations.
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