Google is changing how Android works in India in response to landmark antitrust ruling
After a last-ditch attempt to block India’s landmark Android decision failed last week, Google has detailed how its mobile operating system will change to meet orders from the country’s Competition Commission. In a blog post spotted by The Verge, Google said it would give Android users in India the option to choose their device’s default search engine “via a choice screen” that appears during setup. initial of a new phone or tablet.
Additionally, starting next month, all apps and games downloaded from the Play Store will support third-party billing options, allowing developers to bypass Google charges on in-app purchases. The company will also start allowing users to uninstall first-party apps that come with their devices.
India’s Competition Commission (ICC) fined Google the equivalent of $162 million last October, alleging the company abused its “dominant position” in search, video and the web to unfairly disadvantage its competitors. As well as changing what Indian consumers can expect from Android, the order will reshape the company’s relationship with Android makers. On Wednesday, the company said it would allow OEMs to preinstall individual proprietary apps on their devices. The company will also update Android compatibility requirements to better support forked OS variants.
Understandably, Google isn’t keen on revamping Android to respond to CCI commands. “Implementing these changes in the ecosystem will be a complex process and will require significant work on our side and, in many cases, significant effort from partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEM ) and developers,” the company said. In the meantime, he plans to “respectfully appeal certain aspects” of the Commission’s decisions. “We take seriously our commitment to comply with local laws and regulations in India,” Google added.
Google has tried to appease regulators and avoid this type of intervention by introducing programs such as its user-choice billing pilot, which allows developers to implement alternative purchasing systems. integrated into their applications. At this point, Google could be swimming against the tide. On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice sued the company in an attempt to dismantle its ad technology division. The tech giant is also facing the prospect of US lawmakers ordering it to open up the Play Store to more competition.
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