The most recent order by the Competition Commission of India (IHK) in which Google The case may seem developer-friendly, but in practice it can have practical and financial implications for developers, especially startups, according to legal experts.
The CCI fined Google Rs 936.44 crore on October 25 for abusing its dominant position in relation to its Play Store billing and payment policies, days after the regulator fined Rs 1,338 crore for abuse imposed on its dominant position in several markets Android mobile operating system (OS).
According to Gowree GokhalePartner, Nishith Desai Associatesat least the decision does not indicate that there was sufficient evidence of the impact of Google’s practices on end users and the Android ecosystem.
“In the absence of anti-fragmentation commitments, when multiple incompatible Android OS versions are developed by OEMs, developers may need to customize their apps for each version. This can delay market entry and increase costs,” Gokhale said.
This, in turn, can further contribute to the disparity in opportunity between small and large developers.
“The overall value of the Android ecosystem as a whole could be undermined. It seems highly unlikely that core compatibility standards will emerge across such fragmented ecosystems based solely on market forces,” Gokhale said.
Google has been given 30 days to provide the required financial details and supporting documents in the CCI PO.
Hit by two consecutive fines from the CCI, Google said it was reviewing the decision to assess next steps.
In a statement, Google said Indian developers have benefited from the technology, security, consumer protections and unrivaled choice and flexibility that Android and google play provide.
“And by keeping costs down, our model has fueled India’s digital transformation and expanded access for hundreds of millions of Indians. We remain committed to our users and developers and are reviewing the decision to assess next steps,” a Google spokesman said.
According to Gokhale, one of the benefits of the anti-fragmentation obligations Google is imposing on OEMs is to standardize security implementation across the Android ecosystem across devices.
“Without this commitment, OEMs can develop an operating system version that is not secure or interoperable with other versions. Consumers may not be aware of differences in OS versions and may simply rely on the Android brand,” she pointed out.
She said that since users’ personal data is collected across different apps, it’s very important that all devices have the same security standards. It also helps consumers have a wider choice of devices.
“The CCI doesn’t seem to have considered this aspect in detail at all,” Gokhale said.