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CCI ruling against Google a step towards next phase of digital revolution

Competition watchdog CCI’s ruling against internet giant Google is a step towards the next phase of digital revolution in India, a top official of indigenously-developed apps platform Indus OS said on Friday.

Indus OS Co-founder and CEO Rakesh Deshmukh said that the CCI ruling against Google very clearly encourages software innovation, which will not only help bring down the prices of smartphone devices but also ensure even further digital penetration as opposed to stalling the growth of the Android ecosystem by pushing up the device price point.

The CCI in October last year slapped a Rs 1,337.76 crore fine on Google for exploiting its dominant position with respect to Android, which powers 97 per cent of smartphones in India. It imposed another Rs 936 crore penalty on the US tech giant in a case related to its Play Store policies.

While in the first case, CCI asked Google to allow smartphone users on the Android platform to uninstall apps and let them select a search engine of their choice, the regulator had asked the company to take corrective steps on policies that forced developers to use Google Play’s billing system to list their apps on its Play Store.

Currently, one cannot delete apps such as Google Maps or YouTube from their Android phones when they come pre-installed.

“In its ruling, CCI has categorically demonstrated multiple anti-competitive actions carried out by Google in the last decade. In fact, it scuttled Indian entrepreneurs in the Android ecosystem with unfair and restrictive Google policies. The CCI ruling against Google is a step towards ushering in the next phase of digital revolution in the country,” Deshmukh said in a statement.

He said that Google in it plea before Supreme Court has stated that the ruling will stall the growth of the Android ecosystem in the country, and thus adversely impact all the stakeholders and also drive up the device price point.

“The argument however is contradictory as competition breeds innovation which only makes technology more affordable for everyone. Google itself has pointed out that the prices of smartphone devices have dropped drastically over the last five years. This has been made possible only due to innovations in the field of mobile hardware,” Deshmukh said.

An email query sent to Google elicited no immediate reply.

Indus OS hosts apps in vernacular language. Google has barred Indus OS from hosting its app on the Play store. PTI

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