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Google has announced a series of sweeping changes to its Android system in India after the search engine giant lost a major anti-trust case in the South Asian country, Al Jazeera reported.

These far-reaching changes include letting users select their default search engine on Android. 

This move came after India’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the nation’s anti-trust watchdog that stated the company had abused its position in the market. 

The Competition Commission of India, or CCI, fined the tech giant $161 million, accusing it of “unfair” business practices.

Around 97 percent of smartphones in India run on Android.

Anti-trust proceedings against Google began in October when CCI asked the company to implement several changes to its Android ecosystem.

The anti-trust watchdog stated Google was allegedly “abusing” the licensing of its Android operating system for various smartphones, browsing, web searches, and video hosting services.

It also accused the tech company of entering and participating in “one-sided agreements” with smartphone manufacturers to ensure the dominance of its applications. 

The anti-trust watchdog said this stifled business competition, and provided Google with continuous access to consumer data and lucrative opportunities in advertising. 

Thus, it ordered Google to stop such practices. 

Google had also challenged the directives of CCI in the Supreme Court, saying “no other jurisdiction has ever asked for such far-reaching changes.”

The company argued that the changes the CCI directed would force it to modify agreements with over 1,100 device manufacturers and thousands of app developers. 

Yet the court refused to block the directives of the CCI and said that a lower court, where the search engine giant had first challenged the order, could go on hearing the appeal but should give a ruling before the end of this March. 

Last week, Google said it would cooperate with the anti-trust watchdog. 

On Wednesday, Google announced it would allow device makers in the South Asian nation to license its individual applications for pre-installation and let users select their default search engine.

“Implementation of these changes across the ecosystem will be a complex process and will require significant work at our end and, in many cases, significant efforts from partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers,” Google said in their official blog post.

Google is currently facing various anti-trust cases in India, and authorities are also looking over its conduct in the market of smart TVs.

“We believe technology can help unlock opportunities in core areas of the Indian economy and we look forward to continuing to partner in this journey,” Google added.

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