Tech giant Google was imposed with a fine for the second time in a week for abuse of its dominant market position by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The company was penalized ₹936.44 crore for its app store billing policies. The regulator also issued a cease-and-desist order against Google regarding these policies.
Google allows developers on its store to receive payments for their apps, audio, video and games, as well as certain in-app purchases, solely through its Google Play Billing System, CCI said in a 199-page order, directing the company to modify its conduct within three months.
In an interview, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, said, “An open internet is what India expects — that is an internet where free choice expectations of consumers are not distorted by the market power of any company — big or small — foreign or Indian. Openness, that is, free and fair internet, is a firm policy goal for our government.”
However, Akshayy S. Nanda, a partner at law firm Saraf and Partners, said, “The CCI order feels inadequate. For one, there is no precedent for dominance in the tech market in India, which leaves Google room to challenge the order. Secondly, the order challenges Google’s dominance in theory but lacks in terms of showing practical proof against the company’s alleged dominance in the market.”