The nation’s competition watchdog has fined Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Rs 1,337 crore for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour with regard to Android mobile devices.

Google was penalised by India’s Competition Commission (CCI) for “abusing dominant position in numerous regions within the Android mobile device ecosystem.”

The Android OS (operating system) is run and managed by Google, and the company also grants licences for its other proprietary programmes. In their mobile devices, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) employ this OS and Google’s apps.

In order to establish their rights and obligations, they thus sign into a number of contracts, such as the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA).

The most popular search entry points, including the search app, widget, and Chrome browser, are pre-installed on Android devices, according to MADA, which gave Google’s search services a major competitive advantage over its rivals, the CCI said in a statement.

“Google also gained a huge competitive advantage over its rivals in relation to YouTube, an additional revenue-generating software for Android smartphones. The competitors of these services could never obtain the same level of market access that Google secured and embedded for itself through MADA. By erecting significant barriers to entry, Google can prevent its rivals from entering or operating in the relevant markets “the CCI reported.

According to the CCI, Google contended about the Apple Inc.-imposed competitive pressures.

The CCI noted that Apple’s business is primarily based on a vertically integrated smart device ecosystem, which is focused on the sale of high-end smart devices with advanced software components. This is one of the differences between the two business models that affect the underlying incentives of business decisions.

The CCI stated that Google’s business was discovered to be driven by the ultimate purpose of boosting users on its platforms so that they engage with its revenue-earning service, namely online search, which directly influences the selling of online advertising services by Google.

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