Google says India antitrust ruling to drive up costs for app developers

(Reuters) -Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday that India’s new antitrust order to change how the company markets its Android platform will drive up costs for app developers, equipment makers, and consequently, consumers.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in October fined Google $161 million for exploiting its dominant position in Android, and asked it to change restrictions imposed on smartphone makers related to pre-installing apps.

Google licenses its Android system to smartphone makers, but critics say that its imposition of restrictions, such as the mandatory pre-installation of its own apps, is anti-competitive. The company argues that such agreements help keep Android free.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Google warned in a Supreme Court challenge to the order that Android ecosystem’s growth in India was on the brink of stalling due to the order. Android powers 97% of the country’s smartphones.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Devika Syamnath)

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