Google India has announced that it will abide by the recommendations of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) after the Supreme Court upheld an antitrust order asking the company to change the way it markets its popular Android platform. CCI ruled in October 2022 that Google happens to exploit its dominant position in Android and requested it to remove restrictions on device makers, including those related to pre-installation of apps and ensuring exclusivity of its search. To this end, CCI fined Google $161 million. On January 19, 2023, Google lost a challenge in the Supreme Court to block the directives, getting seven days to comply.
That said, the Supreme Court has said a lower tribunal, where Google first challenged the Android directives, can continue to hear the company’s appeal and must rule by March 31, 2023. About 97 per cent of 600 million smartphones in India run on Android, according to Counterpoint Research estimates. Hoping to block the implementation of the CCI directives, Google had challenged the CCI order in the Supreme Court by warning it could stall the growth of the Android ecosystem.