Google Appeals $161.9 Million Android Antitrust Ruling in India's Supreme Court

Google Appeals $161.9 Million Android Antitrust Ruling in India’s Supreme Court

Google has turned to India’s Supreme Court in an effort to block an order that could have significant consequences for the Android ecosystem. Last October, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google $161.9 million and barred the company from requiring original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to pre-install Google apps and services on their phones. This week, an appeals tribunal rejected Google’s request to block the ruling, which is due to come into effect on January 19th. In response, Google filed a challenge against the tribunal’s decision with India’s top court on Saturday, reportedly viewing it as its last and best hope of preventing the CCI’s order from impacting its business.

While the fine may be relatively small for Google, the order could force the company to significantly alter its deals with Android manufacturers. It seeks to prevent Google from including “anti-fragmentation” clauses that prohibit Android forks, and would also require the company to allow third-party app stores on Google Play, as well as allowing users to uninstall first-party apps they don’t want on their phones. India is a vital market for Google, with approximately 606.6 million smartphone users and a 97% Android market share.