The Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google last year for restricting third-party payment services and is investigating the company for other anti-competitive behavior. The Supreme Court recently rejected Google’s request to block CCI’s orders, so the company has changed its agreements with phone makers and loosened rules for users.

Those using Android devices in India can now use third-party billing services for apps and games starting next month. As part of the setup process, they will also be able to choose a different default search engine. Despite other regions enacting similar legislation, these rules are only applicable to India.


Manufacturers of smartphones will be allowed to license Google apps to pre-install on their devices. In the past, manufacturers had to bundle the entire Google suite with their products.

CCI’s decision will be appealed, but for now, Google is working on implementing the following changes:

  • OEMs will be able to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.
  • Android users have always been able to customize their devices to suit their preferences. Indian users will now have the option to choose their default search engine via a choice screen that will soon start to appear when a user sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
  • We’re updating the Android compatibility requirements to introduce changes for partners to build non-compatible or forked variants.
  • User choice billing will be available to all apps and games starting next month. Through user choice billing, developers can offer users the option to choose an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system when purchasing in-app digital content.
  • Android has always supported the installation of apps from a variety of sources, including via sideloading, which involves app downloads directly from a developer’s website. We recently made changes to the Android installation flow and auto-updating capability for sideloaded apps and app stores while ensuring users understand the potential security risks.

Earlier this week, Google agreed to allow third-party app stores to be listed on the Google Play Store, also under pressure from the CCI.