Google has been battling the Android antitrust case in India for a while, but recently it got a big setback with conditions placed on its business practices. One of the clauses was removing Google apps on Android phones, which means not preloading apps like Chrome, Maps and Gmail on smartphones in the country.
The details of the document has been quoted to tipster Kuba Wojciechowski who claims that Google will only be allowed to preload the Play Store for Android smartphones in India. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) clearly felt that Google has been using its monopoly in the smartphone market to push its own products onto the consumers.
Having these apps by default has been convenient for users but the competition has alleged that Google has restricted their growth and reach to these smartphone users. Google has been forced to develop a India-centric Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (iMADA) that is shared with the company’s handset partners in India and take their signature to get the pact in action. The terms of this agreement highlight the changes Google has been ordered to make in India by the CCI.
Handset partners with Google don’t need to give a Google Search homescreen widget, and also stop providing a shortcut for Google apps on the homescreen. The tweet here, also shows that except for the Play Store (Google’s App store), phone makers don’t need to install any of the Google apps on their devices sold in India.
Google will also now offer users the option to select their default web browser and not push Chrome every time. The tipster does mention that Google can still get its partners to preload the Google apps but they will have to be paid for this exercise. The billing system also is now transparent, allowing more companies to link their process.
We still don’t know when these changes will come into effect for the consumer, who will have to install these apps manually but some of you will also have the option to download other apps that you have been wanting to try.
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first published: February 22, 2023, 08:05 IST
last updated: February 22, 2023, 08:05 IST