By Aditi Shah and Aditya Kalra
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google is adverse a new antitrust case in India in which the U.S. tech behemothic is declared to accept abused its Android operating system’s position in the acute television market, a antecedent and two attorneys complex in the case told Reuters.
The case is Google’s fourth above antitrust claiming in India, one of its key markets area it is currently adverse accessible criticism from bounded startups for administration assertive behavior and aggregation accuse they argue aching their growth.
It additionally comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges in the United States, and a abeyant antitrust delving in China that is set to attending into how it allegedly uses its ascendancy of its Android adaptable operating arrangement to asphyxiate competition. Google has denied any wrongdoing.
The Antagonism Commission of India (CCI) has back June been attractive into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating barriers for firms absent to use or advance adapted versions of Android for acute TVs, such as Amazon <AMZN.O> Fire TV’s operating system, according to the source, who has absolute adeptness of the case.
The case has been filed by two Indian antitrust lawyers, Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand. They both accepted the case filing adjoin Google for declared corruption in the acute television market, but beneath to animadversion further.
The antecedent said the CCI had directed Google to abide its accounting responses to the allegations and that the aggregation has approved added time.
A Google agent beneath comment, back the case with the antitrust anatomy was pending. Amazon and the CCI did not acknowledge to requests for comment.
Unlike Indian cloister cases, filings and capacity of cases advised by the CCI are not appear publicly.
The antitrust babysitter could adjustment a added analysis adjoin Google if it finds arete in the allegations, or bandy out the case completely.
Smart TVs, or WiFi-enabled TVs with apps for alive casework like Netflix and YouTube, accept become more accepted in India.
Data from Counterpoint Research shows 8 actor acute TV sets were awash in India in 2019. Three in bristles acute TVs awash in India are based on Google’s Android system, which additionally admiral about 99% of India’s bisected a billion smartphone user base.
The latest case alleges that Google’s agreements with companies such as Xiaomi <1810.HK> and TV architect TCL India finer stop them from application both the Android arrangement and a adapted adaptation of it on altered accessories they make, according to the source.
For example, if a aggregation sells smartphones based on Google’s Android, it cannot advertise acute TVs active on aggressive platforms like the Amazon Fire TV system, according to the case adjoin the Mountain View, California-based company, the antecedent said.
And in reverse, if a company’s acute TV is application Amazon’s Fire operating system, again that aggregation is belted from alms Google’s accepted Play Store or the Google maps app on its smartphones.
Xiaomi India and TCL India, which is allotment of China’s TCL Technology Group Corp <000100.SZ>, are both affair to the case forth with Google. Xiaomi did not acknowledge to requests for animadversion while TCL beneath to comment.
In 2018, the CCI fined Google 1.36 billion rupees($18.5 million) for “search bias,” but a aggregation address adjoin that is pending. The CCI aftermost year additionally started acid Google for allegedly misusing its ascendant position to abate the adeptness of smartphone makers to opt for alternating versions of its Android system.
Earlier this year, the CCI started reviewing a case alleging that Google abuses its bazaar position to unfairly advance its adaptable payments app in the country.
(Reporting by Aditi Shah and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Editing by Euan Rocha and Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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