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India orders anti-trust probe of Google for alleged Android abuse: Report

Competition Commission of India is looking into complaints that allege the Tech giant is blocking rivals using unfair means

Aditya Kalra | Reuters 

Google has come under scanner over abuse of its Android platform

India's antitrust watchdog has ordered an into Alphabet Inc's unit for alleged abuse of its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals, two sources aware of the matter told Reuters.

The Competition Commission of (CCI) last year started looking into the complaint, which is similar to the one faced in Europe that resulted in a 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine on the company, Reuters reported in February.

In mid-April, the decided there was merit in the accusations made in the complaint and ordered its unit to launch a full probe, one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

That decision, which was confirmed by the second source, has not been previously reported and the order calling the full was not made public.

"It is a strong case for the CCI, given the precedent," said the first source. "The has (preliminarily) found abused its dominant position."

The probe would be completed in about a year and Google executives would likely be summoned to appear before the in coming months, the source said.

The CCI did not respond to a request for comment.

A Google spokesman said Android has enabled millions of Indians to connect to the internet by making mobile devices more affordable. Google looked forward to working with the CCI "to demonstrate how Android has led to more competition and innovation, not less," the spokesman said in a statement.

Reuters could not establish who filed the complaint, which involves more than one person.

In the case, regulators said Google forced manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser, together with its Google Play app store on Android devices, giving it an unfair advantage.

First Published: Fri, May 10 2019. 17:40 IST