The case is Google’s fourth major antitrust challenge in India, one of its key markets where it is currently facing public criticism from local startups for enforcing certain policies and company charges they contend hurt their growth.
It also comes as Google faces new antitrust challenges in the United States, and a potential antitrust probe in China that is set to look into how it allegedly uses its dominance of its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition. Google has denied any wrongdoing.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has since June been looking into allegations that Google engages in anti-competitive practices by creating barriers for firms wanting to use or develop modified versions of Android for smart TVs, such as Amazon Fire TV’s operating system, according to the source, who has direct knowledge of the case.
The case has been filed by two Indian antitrust lawyers, Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand. They both confirmed the case filing against Google for alleged abuse in the smart television market, but declined to comment further.
The source said the CCI had directed Google to submit its written responses to the allegations and that the company has sought more time. A Google spokesman declined comment, since the case with the antitrust body was pending. Amazon and the CCI did not respond to requests for comment.
The antitrust watchdog may order a wider investigation against Google if it finds merit in the allegations, or throw out the case completely.
The latest case alleges that Google’s agreements with firms such as Xiaomi and TV manufacturer TCL India effectively stop them from using both the Android system and a modified version of it on different devices they make, according to the source.