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 U.S. 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 which hurts consumers, the source added.
This is Google’s third major antitrust challenge in India. In 2018, the CCI fined Google $21 million for “search bias”, but a company appeal against that is pending. The CCI last year also started probing Google for allegedly misusing its dominant position to reduce the ability of smartphone manufacturers to opt for alternate versions of its Android mobile operating system.
The complaint also alleges Google is promoting its payments app using search manipulation, the source added, without elaborating whether the allegations detail how the company did so.