The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has written to 17 startup founders, questioning them and collating their viewpoints on the ongoing controversy over Google abusing its dominant position in the operating system (OS) market.
This comes at a time that the CCI has initiated a probe against Google for alleged abuse of dominance to force app makers to exclusively use its billing system Google Pay for in-app purchases.
Startups that have received letters from CCI include Paytm, Zomato, PhonePe, UpGrad, Dream11, GOQII, Razorpay and Matrimony.com.
Two founders who received the letter confirmed that CCI has also asked startups for the agreements they have signed with the various OS for placing their app on their app stores.
“CCI has also asked startups about the revenue they share with different OS, as well as elements of costs needed for making mobile applications in the country,” said one co-founder, speaking to HT.
This is one of the three antitrust cases filed against Google. CCI had earlier fined INR 135.86 Cr in 2018 for abusing dominance in “Search”, while it is looking into allegations that Google abused its android operating system’s position in the smart television segment.
CCI has been looking into allegations since June over Google’s alleged practice of creating barriers for firms wanting to use or develop modified versions of Android for smart TVs, such as Amazon Fire TV’s operating system.
The CCI has been reviewing the case since August 2018, and is in the lines of a similar case faced by Google in the past.
In 2015, at least 30 Indian ecommerce companies alleged Google of abusing its dominant position to rig search outcomes which include actual search results and sponsored links.
In the last decade, Google has faced three major anti-trust cases from the EU over violations of its competition laws due to its dominant position in the market. These cases have resulted in formal charges against Google related to Google Shopping, Google AdSense, and the Android operating system.
Till date, Google has been found guilty of antitrust behaviour in cases related to Google Shopping and Android and has been fined over 6 Bn Euros.