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Current Affairs

CCI probe on Google smart TV segment

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Competition Commission of India will be investigating into allegations of Google’s role in monopolising smart TV segment.

 

Background

Google has made agreements with many smart TV manufacturers for licensing their Android platform. This has prevented alternative development of user platform.

 

Details

  • Google has two agreements that need to be signed by a manufacturer who wants to install Google’s app store on their devices.

  • These agreements are Android Compatibility Commitment (ACC) and Television App Distribution Agreement (TADA).

  • The demand under the TADA makes sure that the manufacturer has to install the whole Google app suite instead of a single app.

  • The CCI says that forcing manufacturers to buy the whole package instead of selective apps is a violation of Competition Act.

  • The agreement also makes it mandatory that the manufacturers will not use forked or altered version of their Android in any of their devices.

  • The forked versions of Android are developed by software makers using the open source Android platform offered by Google.

  • But Google does not allow these versions to be used in manufacturing devices if they want to pre-install Google Play store.

 

Google’s stand

The company says that the TADA agreement was optional and the Google Play store was not so important in smart TV in comparison to other devices such as mobiles.

 

Other issues

The CCI has identified similar sanctions by Google in smartphone market by forcing manufacturers to opt against alternative versions.