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Google Said to Face Antitrust Case in India Over Abuse in Smart TV Market

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Alphabet’s Google is dealing with a brand new antitrust case in India by which the US tech big is alleged to have abused its Android working system’s place within the good tv market, a supply and two legal professionals concerned within the case informed Reuters.

The case is Google’s fourth main antitrust problem in India, one among its key markets the place it’s presently dealing with public criticism from native startups for imposing sure insurance policies and firm prices they contend harm their development.

It additionally comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges within the United States, 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 Competition Commission of India (CCI) has since June been trying into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating obstacles for companies wanting to make use of or develop modified variations of Android for good TVs, resembling Amazon Fire TV’s working system, based on the supply, who has direct data 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 good tv market, however declined to remark additional.

The supply stated 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.

Unlike Indian courtroom instances, filings and particulars of instances reviewed by the CCI aren’t disclosed publicly.

The antitrust watchdog may order a wider investigation in opposition to Google if it finds benefit within the allegations, or throw out the case utterly.

Smart TVs, or WiFi-enabled TVs with apps for streaming companies like Netflix and YouTube, have change into more and more in style in India.

Data from Counterpoint Research reveals eight million good TV units had been offered in India in 2019. Three in 5 good TVs offered in India are based mostly on Google’s Android system, which additionally powers almost 99 p.c of India’s half a billion smartphone consumer base.

The newest case alleges that Google’s agreements with firms resembling 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, based on the supply.

For instance, if an organization sells smartphones based mostly on Google’s Android, it can not promote good TVs working on competing platforms just like the Amazon Fire TV system, based on the case in opposition to the Mountain View, California-based firm, the supply stated.

In reverse, if an organization’s good TV is utilizing Amazon’s Fire working system, then that firm is restricted from providing Google’s in style Play Store or the Google maps app on its smartphones.

Xiaomi India and TCL India, which is a part of China’s TCL, are each occasion 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. 1,360 crores 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 power 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.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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