Google abused the dominant position of its Android operating system in India, using its “huge financial muscle” to illegally hurt competitors, the country’s antitrust authority found in a report on its two-year probe seen by Reuters.
Google reduced “the ability and incentive of device manufacturers to develop and sell devices operating on alternative versions of Android,” stated the June report by the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) investigations unit.
The US tech giant told Reuters in a statement it looks forward to working with the CCI to “demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less.”
Google has not received the investigation report, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
The CCI did not respond to a request for comment on the report. Senior CCI members will review the report and give Google another chance to defend itself, before issuing a final order, which could include penalties, said another person familiar with the case.
Google would be able to appeal any order in India’s courts.
Its findings are the latest antitrust setback for Google in India, where it faces several probes in the payments app and smart television markets. The company has been investigated in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. This week, South Korea’s antitrust regulator fined Google US$180 million for blocking customized versions of Android.
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