May 26, 2023: The ministry’s remarks are made against the backdrop of escalating hostilities between Google and Indian businesses. Continue reading to know more!
An antitrust watchdog determined last year that Alphabet Inc.'s Google had abused its market position by engaging in anti-competitive practices; as a result, the Indian government wants to take action, a top IT minister told Reuters.
Business or governmental actions that obstruct or lessen competition in a market are known as anti-competitive practices. To prevent businesses from engaging in competitive practices that hurt other, typically smaller enterprises or consumers, antitrust laws vary across state and federal legislation.
In two cases involving Google's abuse of its dominant position in the Android operating system market and its pressure on developers to utilise its in-app payment system, India's antitrust agency penalised the company $275 million in October.
According to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the federal deputy minister for information technology, such discoveries are "serious" and create "deep concern" for the Indian federal government, which would take its own measures against Google. This was stated to Reuters in an interview at the IT ministry in New Delhi.
The ministry must act, according to Chandrasekhar. “We have given it some thought. In the upcoming weeks, you'll witness it. We won't ignore it or try to sweep it under the rug, for sure.” The minister opted not to elaborate on the potential policy or regulatory measures the government could implement.
One of the most senior members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration, Chandrasekhar, stated that the problem “is worrying, not just for us, it's worrying for the entire digital ecosystem in India.”
An inquiry about Google's thoughts on the minister's remarks was not answered. When asked whether he had discussed the matter with Google, Chandrasekhar responded, "There is no need for any discussion. This is the court's conclusion."
Even though it cautioned that “no other jurisdiction has ever requested for such far-reaching changes,” Google was nonetheless forced to make significant adjustments to how it markets its mobile operating system in India as a result of the Android antitrust decision.
The 620 million cell phones in India, where Android is used by almost 97% of them, are a crucial growth area for the company.
Other businesses, including Apple and Amazon, are also being sued in India for alleged anti-competitive behaviour. According to Chandrasekhar, the government is eager to take action to defend India's digital economy.
“We don't want it to grow in a way that distorts consumer choice or free competition,” he declared.
“We will undoubtedly investigate what the government needs to do to stop anyone, including but not limited to Google, from abusing their market power or market dominance,” said the official.