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Google will make big changes for Android device makers after the setback from the Supreme Court

Global tech giant Google on Wednesday said it will allow device makers in India to license pre-installation of its apps. Along with this, Google has also announced to give users the option to choose their default engine. These are major changes to the way Google’s Android system operates.

Last week, the Supreme Court had upheld the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) decision against Google. In this decision, it was said that the company has misused its dominant position in the market. The CCI also asked the company to change the way it markets its Android system in the country. Google said in a blog post, “Implementing these changes across the entire ecosystem is a complex process and will require significant contributions from us as well as, in many cases, partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers.”

Google had expressed concern about this decision of CCI because it is more strict than the decision given against Android by the European Commission four years ago. About 97 percent of the 600 million smartphones in the country run on Android. In Europe, this figure is about 75 percent for about 550 million smartphones. In October last year, the CCI had imposed a fine of about $161 million on Alphabet Inc, the American company that runs Google, for misusing its dominant position in the Android market.

The company appealed against this in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). NCLAT refused to grant an interim stay on this penalty. After this, Google challenged the NCLAT order in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to stay the penalty. The Supreme Court had asked the company to deposit 10 percent of the penalty amount under the NCLAT order. Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, appearing for CCI, had told the Supreme Court that Google has kept different standards in India and Europe. He had said that the company has complied with the similar order passed by the European Commission.

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