The ruling is a win for Google, as it provides some relief in the key overseas market of India. The company has been facing antitrust charges related to its abuse of its dominant position in Android, but this ruling sets aside four of the 10 directives. This will allow third-party app stores to be hosted within the Play Store and users will be able to uninstall pre-installed apps without having to go through Google first.
Google had been expected to appeal the $161 million penalty levied by the Competition Commission of India, but appeared to concede defeat earlier this month when it announced it would accept the verdict. The company said that it was “pleased” with the NCLAT’s decision and will work to comply with its orders. The company has faced criticism in India for allegedly abusing its dominance in online search, but has denied any wrongdoing
The CCI’s order stemmed from Google’s promise to make Android open-source. But the NCLAT said that the four directions ordered by the CCI are “unsustainable.”
Google has been ordered by the antitrust watchdog to end its monopoly status on search in Europe. The decision comes after Google was found guilty of abusing its power by privileging its own services over those from competitors. This ruling is a major victory for internet freedom and will give smaller companies an opportunity to compete against Google’s dominance.
The CCI’s report found that by bundling so many Google apps on devices by default, it was making it difficult for users to remove those apps if they did not wish to use them. Additionally, the third-party billing options on the Play Store were not easily accessible, and users were unable to change their search engine if they wished. The report therefore recommended that Google give users more control over which Google apps were pre-installed on their devices and make it easier for them to remove unwanted ones.
Google has agreed to make several changes to its business practices as a result of the Indian government order. This includes allowing smartphone vendors in India to license individual apps for pre-installation on their Android-powered devices, allowing consumers to change search engine and use third-party billing options for app and game purchases on Play Store, among others.
Although Google wasn’t immediately available for comment, the company has previously spoken out against China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which it believes will stifle intellectual property and set a dangerous precedent.