Google Collaborates With Indian Authorities After Losing Android Antitrust Bid • businessupdates.org

by Ana Lopez

Google will continue to challenge India’s antitrust watchdog ruling but will work with authorities “on the way forward,” it said Friday, responding to a high-profile decision by India’s top court this week that prompted the Android maker to file a lawsuit. series of changes that could overturn the way it does business in its key overseas market.

India’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Google’s plea to block an antitrust injunction, but gave the Android maker just one extra week to comply with directions from the Competition Commission of India.

The case now goes back to the country’s appellate body, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), where Google was previously denied help. The Supreme Court has ordered NCLAT to make a decision by March 31.

As businessupdates.org wrote Thursday, the challenge for Google is that unless NCLAT makes a decision in Google’s favor this month, the tech giant will have to make a series of changes to its business practices in India.

The CCI has ordered Google not to require a license from its Play Store to be coupled with the mandatory installation of various Google apps such as Chrome and YouTube. The watchdog also ordered Google to allow the removal of all its apps from phones and allow smartphone users to switch search provider.

The CCI also fined Google $162 million on the first order.

“We are reviewing the details of yesterday’s decision, which is limited to preliminary injunctions and has not ruled on the merits of our appeal,” a Google spokesperson told businessupdates.org.

“Android has brought many benefits to Indian users, developers and OEMs and has played a key role in India’s digital transformation. We remain committed to our users and partners and will work with the CCI moving forward in parallel with our call.”

India is Google’s largest market by users. The company, which has plowed more than $10 billion in India over the past decade, has amassed more than half a billion monthly active users in the country. The vast majority of smartphones in India run on Android.

Google warned earlier this month that if India’s antitrust watchdog ruling is allowed, it will make devices expensive in the South Asian market and lead to a proliferation of unchecked apps that threaten individual and national security.

Many Indian startups competing with Google’s services welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. MapmyIndia CEO Rohan Verma said he was “delighted” by the decision, noting that Google’s requirement for smartphone vendors to pre-install Google Maps had hurt MapmyIndia’s business prospects.

Rakesh Deshmukh, CEO of Indus OS, an Android marketplace, called the court’s order a “watershed moment”.

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