Android Devices To Get Costlier After CCI Order: Google

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Google said that OEMs would have to bear the running costs, resulting in more expensive devices if it implements the CCI order against its Android policies.

Google said that devices running on its Android operating system will get expensive in India due to the order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Android’s operating system policies.

The CCI had ordered the technology giant to pay a fine of ₹1300 crores (about $ 161 million) for “abusing its market position” and asked it to stop denying access to its Play Services plugins to “disadvantaged” original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), reported the Indian Express. CCI added that the licensing of Play Store to OEMs should not be linked to the requirement of pre-installing Google search, Chrome browser, YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail or any other Google application. It has also asked Google not to restrict the ability of app developers to distribute their apps through side-loading — offering their apps outside of Google’s Play Store.

Google claimed that multiple versions of its 15-year-old operating system, called forks, will not support the security and user safety features that Google provides. “This will result in higher costs for the OEMs, and consequently, more expensive devices for Indian consumers,” the tech giant said.

Last week, communications minister Ashwini Vaishnav reiterated India’s ambitions to become a major exporter of telecom equipment in the next two to three years. Smartphone giant, Apple, intends to turn India into a major manufacturing and export hub and its contract manufacturers have ramped up their focus on India.

Google wrote that India is at a juncture where barriers to access should be brought down and safe and secure smartphones should be made available to all, supported by a flourishing digital ecosystem. “Foundational disruptions at this stage could set us back years and undo the deep investments and effort made by OEMs, developers and the industry overall,” it said.

The company said that at a time when only half of India’s population is connected, the directions in the CCI’s order have struck a blow at the ecosystem-wide efforts to accelerate digital adoption in the country. “Google is appealing these directions before Indian courts,” the company added.

Google has filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT) refusal to provide interim relief. The bench posted the matter for disposal on Wednesday. As of now, Google will have to implement all changes by January 19 this year.

Last year, Google failed to overturn a similar litigation in the EU, against a fine of $4.69 billion, after the bloc found that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine.


 

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