Google India has recently been subjected to legal scrutiny by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The company has been accused of abusing its market dominance in areas such as online search and Android app stores.
The problems have been ongoing for months, and Google has finally agreed to comply with local laws and regulations. Google has made significant changes to its platforms and operations in India, and said that it has informed the CCI of how it will comply with their directives.
In addition to these modifications, Google has stated that it will continue to challenge certain aspects of CCI’s directive.
We continue to respectfully appeal certain aspects of the CCI’s decisions and will champion our core principles of openness, expanding user choice, providing transparency and maintaining safety and security that have served the interests of the larger ecosystem.
This change’s most notable aspect is that OEMs can now license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices. This means that OEMs are not required to install all Google Apps before shipping devices to customers.
Another significant change is that users in India will soon be able to select their default search engine via a choice screen that will appear when they set up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
Some Key Changes by Google for India
- OEMs will be able to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.
- Indian users will now have the option to choose their default search engine via a choice screen that will soon start to appear when a user sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
- Google is updating the Android compatibility requirements to introduce changes for partners to build non-compatible or forked variants.
- User choice billing will be available to all apps and games starting next month. Through user choice billing, developers can offer users the option to choose an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content.
- Google recently made changes to the Android installation flow and auto-updating capability for sideloaded apps and app stores, while ensuring users understand the potential security risks.
- Google is also expanding their online resources such as Help Center articles and FAQs to provide more detail on services provided by Google Play and how and when Google Play’s service fee applies.
The company has reaffirmed its commitment to India’s digital transformation. Google has not specified a timetable for implementing these changes. Following Google’s statement that “significant work will be required on our end,” we hope that these new changes will take some time to reach end users.
Regarding the Update to Android and Google Play in India, Google said,
Our commitment to Indian users and the country’s digital transformation stands undeterred. Through Android, Google has contributed significantly to the mobile ecosystem by giving OEMs unprecedented choice and flexibility, offering baseline compatibility for developers that has allowed them to scale their services across devices, and ensuring a safe, secure, and trusted platform for users in India and around the world.