The Competition Commission Monday said it has ordered a detailed probe into alleged anti-competitive practices of Google after it found that the search giant's conduct may help perpetuate its dominance in the online space while resulting in denial of market access for competing apps.
The order follows a complaint in which it was alleged that the search giant indulged in anti-competitive practices by mandating smartphone and tablet manufacturers to exclusively pre-install Google's applications and services in smartphones manufactured or sold in India.
Besides, it was also alleged that Google prevents device manufacturers in India from developing and marketing modified and potentially competing versions of Android for other devices, thereby allegedly hindering the development and market access of rival mobile applications.
Responding to the allegations, Google contested that the pre-installation obligation is limited in scope and said "Android users have considerable freedom to customise their phones and install apps that compete with Google's. Consumers can quickly and easily move or disable pre-installed apps, including Google's apps".
In this regard, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said impugned conduct of Google may help perpetuate its dominance in the online search market while resulting in denial of market access for competing search apps in contravention of Section 4(2)(c) of the Act.
Section 4 pertains to abuse of dominant market position.
Further, the regulator said that "these aspects warrant a detailed investigation".
Accordingly, the Commission directs the Director General to conduct an investigation into the matter within the specified time-frame.