Google will have to make changes to the way it licenses the GMS version of Android in India
Google demands that phone manufacturers who license the Android operating system with Google Mobile Services must pre-install certain Google apps such as the Chrome browser, the Google search engine, YouTube, and other apps developed by the company. The CCI wants Google to stop what it sees as anti-competitive behavior on Google’s part. It also wants Google to allow Android users in India to have the option to uninstall Google Maps and YouTube from their handsets.
Google was forced to offer Android users alternatives to Chrome and Google Search back in 2019
While Android is an open-source system, the Google Mobile Services version includes Google apps and the Google Play Store. This is the version of Android that you are probably most familiar with (unless your Android experience has been limited to Amazon’s flop of a handset, the Fire Phone, which used a “forked” version of Android without Google apps. The Amazon appstore replaced the Google Play Store on that phone.
If filed, it would be the second federal antitrust complaint against Google. Back in 2020, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Google because of its dominance in the online search market. That case is scheduled to go to trial this September. The government wants to know how Google acquires and maintains its dominance in search and digital advertising.
Google is in legal hot water all over the globe
And in Google’s defense, it can point to its declining market share in the U.S. digital ad market. Insider Intelligence says that Google’s slice of the stateside digital ad market has declined from 36.7% in 2016 to 28.8% last year. Google has previously said that it faces competition in this market from the likes of Comcast, Facebook, and AT&T. Despite the erosion, Google remains the leader in this industry by a large margin.
There is potential trouble for Google all over the globe. Parent company Alphabet faces a $16.3 billion class-action suit filed in the U.K. that accused the Mountain View-based firm of collecting “super profits” at the expense of smaller firms. Google labeled that suit “speculative and opportunistic.”