India’s Supreme Court has rejected a request by US company Google to overthrow a local antitrust authority that ruled last fall that the tech giant had illegally forced Indian smartphone makers to install the Android operating system on its devices.
In October last year, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google $162 million for unfairly exploiting its dominant position in the Android device market. During the review, the regulator found that the American company used its own dominant position to promote its search engine and apps like Chrome and YouTube.
Google’s deals with local smartphone makers meant the latter should preinstall the company’s apps on their devices. In addition, Google has agreements with manufacturers that prohibit the installation of Android fork operating systems on devices, as well as revenue sharing agreements.
Indian regulators ordered Google to change the conditions for promoting the Android operating system in the country’s market, and all deals the IT giant had with smartphone makers were declared illegal. According to the source, the Supreme Court decided not to intervene and reserved the right to rule on Google’s appeal of the CCI ruling to the lower court. At the same time, a deadline was set for examining the appeal, the decision of which must be announced by March 31 at the latest. Official representatives of Google have not yet commented on this topic.