In recent months, Google has been facing a series of challenges and controversies in India. The tech giant has been dealing with resentments from the Indian startup ecosystem, redressals from regulators, and recusal requests from judges in high-profile cases. The resentments stem from Google’s dominance in the Indian app ecosystem, with the company facing accusations of abusing its market position and engaging in anti-competitive practices. Several Indian startups have complained that Google’s policies and practices are unfair and that the company is stifling competition. Regulators have also been taking action against Google. In late 2020, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an investigation into Google’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in the mobile operating system market. The CCI has also been investigating Google’s alleged anti-competitive practices in the digital advertising market.
In addition to regulatory action, Google has been facing recusal requests from judges in high-profile cases. For example, in a case involving Google and Indian startup ShareChat, a judge recused herself after Google argued that she had a conflict of interest. To address these challenges, Google has been taking steps to improve its relations with the Indian startup ecosystem. The company has announced a $10 billion fund to support digital growth in India, and has also launched a program to help Indian startups and developers build for the global market. Google has also been working to address regulatory concerns. In March 2021, the company agreed to pay $76 million to the CCI to settle an antitrust case related to its search practices. The company has also announced that it will make changes to its advertising practices to address concerns raised by the CCI. Despite these efforts, Google’s challenges in India are likely to continue. The company’s dominance in the Indian app ecosystem and its position as a gatekeeper to the internet in the country mean that it will continue to face scrutiny from regulators and complaints from startups.