Info-tech

Payments app: Google comes under CCI lens

Reuters New Delhi | Updated on May 27, 2020

India’s antitrust body is looking into allegations that Alphabet Inc’s Google is abusing its market position to unfairly promote its mobile payments app in the country, five sources familiar with the case told Reuters.

The complaint was filed in February and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has kept the identity of the complainant confidential, the first source with direct knowledge of the case said.

The complaint alleges the US tech giant more prominently showcases its Google Pay app inside its Android app store in India, giving it an unfair advantage over apps of competitors that hurts consumers, the source added.

Google did not respond to a request for comment. Two of the sources said the watchdog informed Google about the case being filed a few days ago and the company will respond in due course. A source said the case filing is currently being reviewed by senior CCI members. Typically in such cases, Google will appear before the watchdog which will then decide on the way forward. The CCI can direct its investigations unit to conduct a wider probe into the allegations, or dismiss the case if it finds no merit in it.

“It is at a consideration stage,” the source said.

The CCI did not respond to a request for comment.

The Google antitrust complaint alleges the company is able to leverage its strong position in the Android market to promote the app, the first source added.

Published on May 27, 2020

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