India’s antitrust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) is looking into reports of abuse of market position by Google to push its payment apps in India.
According to a report published by Reuters, a complaint was filed with CCI back in February which led to the investigation into Google’s practices in India. Reuters source said that Google promotes its own Google Pay app on the Google Play Store giving itself an unfair advantage. This practice also hurts both the consumers and other payment platforms available in India. Furthermore, two of Reuters’s sources noted that CCI has notified Google about the antitrust case a few days ago and the tech giant is expected to respond in due time.
Currently, the case has been submitted to the senior CCI officials who will review the case. CCI will also give Google an opportunity to appear before the antitrust body and decide a way forward. Both Google and CCI declined to comment on the matter.
This is not the first time that Google is in hot waters over the abuse of its position in India. Back in 2015, multiple Indian retailers including Bharat Matrimony, Microsoft, Flipkart, MapMyIndia, MakeMyTrip and others dragged Google to court over search manipulation. In 2017, Google paid over €2.42 billion in the EU for the same reason. Google also paid a fine of ₹135.86 crores (approximately ₹1.36 billion or $17.9 million at current conversion rates) to CCI in 2018 for “abusing its dominant position in online general web search and web search advertising services in India.” CCI also opened up another investigation into Google in 2019 for the abuse of its dominant position with Android by forcing device manufacturers to pre-install its apps and the Google Play Store.