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Google and Android TV Draw Antitrust Scrutiny in India

(Image credit: Google)

Add India to the list of countries looking at Alphabet Inc.s Google for possible antitrust breaches.

India is challenging Google’s business practices that restrict the capabilities of smart TV markers who license the company’s Android TV operating system, Reuters reported. It’s the fourth major antitrust challenge against Google in India. The company is also facing antitrust litigation in China, as well as its home country, the United States.

Android TV powers 60% of the nearly 8 million smart TVs sold in India in 2019, according to Counterpoint Research, with Google licensing the software to manufacturers including TCL and Xiaomi. (Both companies are listed as plaintiffs in the case against Google.)

The Mountain View, Calif. tech company restricts electronics makers who license the Android mobile operating system for smart phones to also license a competing TV OS like Amazon Fire TV. Android powers 99% of the nearly half billion smart phones used in India, Reuters said. 

Conversely, if a company licenses a competing TV OS, it won’t be able to offer access to essential Android mobile components for smart phones, such as the Google Play Store.

Google has declined comment.